Pubs And Clubs Could Lose Licenses Over Rape

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 66 months ago
Pubs And Clubs Could Lose Licenses Over Rape

The Met police are going to use a variety of strategies to target those who commit rape or sexual assault.

The Guardian has an interview with the new head of the Met's Sapphire unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie. He says that pubs and clubs linked with a high incidence of sexual crimes, or taking place on the premises, will lose their licence in much the same way as a pub or club with a reputation for violence or drug use.

The Met also plan to go 'Al Capone' on men they strongly suspect of being rapists – Capone was jailed for tax evasion rather than any of his gangster activities, and the police hope to able to prosecute on possession of weapons or driving illegally if there's not enough evidence for a rape conviction. (We have a few qualms about that: if a separate offence is worthy of jail, then surely it should involve jail without the pressure of an unproven suspicion? Perhaps better rape investigation techniques would be a better idea.)

The Sapphire Unit has been in the news in the wrong way recently, with one detective pleading guilty to not looking into cases and falsifying records, and another under investigation for similar reasons. Following a rise in sexual offences between 2009-2011, the number of reported cases in London has fallen over the last year. That could be down to fewer offences being committed, or it could be down to fewer women feeling enough confidence in the police to report them. Duthie clearly means to send the message that Sapphire is back on women's side, but will it be enough?

Photo by Tom Radenz from the Londonist Flickr pool. Edit: following comments, we thought should make it clear that this photo comes from a Slutwalk, where women (and men) say that what they wear is no excuse for rape, sexual assault or harassment.

Last Updated 11 October 2012


They're going to prosecute people they 'strongly suspect' of being rapists, without there being actual evidence? Yes, lock up racists, but if people are being prosecuted without evidence there's no point having a legal system - we become a police state! And I agree - if there's evidence of knife crime or dangerous driving lock them up for that, but don't only lock them up for that because they might be rapists!

(and is the picture of buttocks necessary? I've heard theories that having so many pictures of semi-naked women on public display contributes to incidence of rape. I don't know if that's true, and there being semi-naked pictures around is NO excuse for rape, but I find it slightly unsettling accompanying this article...)


What an insensitive picture!


IMHO, this seems like an attempt to be seen to be doing something in the wake of Coleman-Farrow's conviction as well as other highly publicised failures of rape investigations and convictions.

Targeting pubs and clubs is not the answer and it's simply attempting to pass a measure of responsibility to someone other than the actual perpetrator. Charging people who haven't actually committed sex offences but who are subjectively considered to 'maybe' commit an offence is damaging to everyone - rape victims and people pre-crimed included.

As said in the post, better investigation is the answer, along with fewer assumptions, victim-blaming and attempting to cite the (very) few false rape allegations as a reason to disregard all of them.