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BBC News – Cameron backs ‘limited’ anonymity for rape accused

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on BBC News – Cameron backs ‘limited’ anonymity for rape accused

Rape defendants in the UK may enjoy the protection of anonymity "to cover the period between arrest and charges" in addition to the duration of a trial until conviction, as Prime Minister David Cameron "appears to have given some ground on proposals to grant anonymity to those accused of rape." According to BBC reports, Labour party leader Harriet Harman disagreed with the proposal, saying "It sends a devastating message to rape victims that uniquely of all victims they are not to be believed."

According to official figures, "only 6% of all reports of rape to the police lead to a conviction," yet Mr. Cameron "describ[ed] the current conviction rate as a 'scandal'" and "told MPs that all parties wanted to increase the number of successful rape prosecutions and to send more rapists to jail." Rapists are often most successfully prosecuted only after "previous victims find the courage to come forward," Ms. Harman says. Activists say the policy helps protect rapists, not their victims.

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