Time and place

I've just come across a file that has got me thinking about how decisions get made.  It's not a case with which I've had any involvement aside from reading the file just now.

The case is a (not uncommon around here) allegation of rape where the complainant says that she was raped about 8-years-ago by somebody she knows.  There have been no other incidents either before or since according to disclosure given by the police to the solicitor who attended for interview at the police station.  She provided the police with the suspect's home and work address as well as his name.

There will not be any forensic evidence available in this case due to its age, although if I were the police I'd want to search his home and possibly have a look at his computer since people do store the most incriminating things on there in the mistaken belief that they are safe.  This would lead me to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to knock on his door around 5-6am, arrest him and start the search there and then.  To be blunt, unless the officers can find something at his home address (or other women come forward with similar complainants, etc.) then this is a case that will never see a court room.  If I were advising him in the police station I would say that this is a weak case and that the suspect should preserve his position by refusing to answer any questions.

In this case, the police waited until he got to work then attended his workplace and arrested him for rape in front of all his colleagues.  There is no suggestion from the police that they searched or seized anything from his place of employment.  The Defendant was then held in a cell while his home was searched.

I cannot think of any reason to effect the arrest in front of his workmates aside from humiliating him in the knowledge that the case will probably be dropped later on.  It maybe that there is a good reason for doing it this way and if any police officers can enlighten me as to how they would have proceeded then I would be pleased to know.

Incidentally, the police did take no further action against this man.


  1. One has only to read some widely viewed police blogs to know that some - and by no means a majority, let alone all - police officers think they should be judge and jury too. Knowing they will not succeed, they inflict such pain as they can. The same police force no doubt peddles a mantra of sensitiity and respect. A few of their officers clearly missed the training day.

  2. I can think quickly of another reason for this arrest; buffoonery. Take a look at the personnel of any MPS CID office (or indeed perhaps other Forces) and you will struggle to find many officers with over 5 years service, let alone 10-15 when you might have gained some experience. With a system actually financially rewarding those on local neighbourhood type teams over and above those who 24/7 respond and deal with crime, what do you think happens? Get higher pay and allowances for daytime working and dealing with the more pleasant members of society or go face to face with the masses? No brain required there. CID work therefore attracts not those who have skills needed for criminal investigation, but anyone who likes the TV inspired glory of the title, and there are so few candidates for places, many unsuitable get through

    Sorry but these officers may simply have believed their own publicity and arrested the man because his place of work was closer to the nick than his home address, regardless of feelings of all concerned. Ask a Met oldie. It actually used to say that an arrest was to be made quietly and discreetly, and the suspect was to be allowed to pay for a cab to the police station (yes, really)

    Next time you meet one of these ace ‘tecs, try these questions. Define theft, assault and criminal damage, quoting act and section. My money is on 0/3.

  3. It's called bullying.
    It's much easier than doing your job properly.


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