Don't close GMPs Serious Sexual Offences Unit.
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DON’T CLOSE GMPs SERIOUS SEXUAL OFFENCES UNIT.
Since 2012, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has had a Serious Sexual Offences Unit. This unit does vital work in the community and investigates complex sexual assault crimes withe the sensitivity needed. But this unit is now set to be shut down.
It has been decided that dealing with rape and sexual assault cases does not need a specialist unit. This is shocking. We at Manchester Rape Crisis are deeply worried about this move and are asking you to join us in urging Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Chief Constable Ian Hopkins to reverse this decision immediately.
Rape is the crime least likely to end in a conviction, even though half a million adults are sexually assaulted in the UK each year. Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped every year.
That’s roughly 11 rapes every hour.
Additionally, only 15% of those who experience rape choose to report it.
We believe that removing the specialist unit will see the conviction rate fall further still. Furthermore, the prospect of reporting to an officer not specially trained in this crime will discourage even more women to pursue justice.
It’s difficult to conceive how this decision was arrived at, given the statistics, the current social climate and the overwhelming demand felt by women’s services up and down the country.
Many who work with women and the justice system acknowledge its limitations and work incredibly hard to support people who have survived this horrific crime in an already less than perfect system. Let’s fight to prevent any further hurdles preventing survivors from seeking justice.
Please add your name to this petition and share on social media, and together we can save this vital unit within Greater Manchester Police.
Read more about the unit here (as featured in the BBC Documentary 'The Detectives')
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