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    A former military prosecutor who handled sexual assault cases in the Army was convicted of rape and sexual assault by a military grand jury in North Carolina.

    Ex-Prosecutor Calls for Review of Crime Reporting Mechanisms in UK

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    The former director of public prosecutions in the United Kingdom Keir Starmer stated that according to an official crime survey of England and Wales, at least 85 percent of sexual offenses were not reported to the police.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The former director of public prosecutions in the United Kingdom urged authorities Wednesday to review existing crime reporting mechanisms in the country, as he called police stations too intimidating, especially for sexual assault and rape victims.

    Keir Starmer underlined that according to an official crime survey of England and Wales, at least 85 percent of sexual offenses were not reported to the police.

    "What are the legal mechanisms for victims coming forward? We need to get away from the notion of police stations being where people report crimes, particularly sexual crimes. We need to be more innovative," Keir Starmer was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

    Starmer welcomed an initiative made by an unnamed company in the north-east of the country, where employees can talk to a specialist member of staff instead of going to a police station.

    The former director of public prosecutions in particular criticized the way victims are treated in the courtroom, calling for more understanding and sympathy. He also called for the introduction of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse and referred to the Rochdale cases.

    "What I found in those files was that actually [the prosecutors] were trying to do their job in Rochdale. At that stage we were asking the prosecutors and police to assess the likelihood that this victim will be believed. So, they were playing out a credibility test and that's normally carried out on paper," Starmer said.

    In 2008 and 2009, a group of Pakistani and Afghan men sexually exploited 47 teenage girls in the Greater Manchester town of Rochdale. The gang members were only convicted in May 2012, even though the victims reported the incidents to police straight after the abuses took place.

    According to Starmer, even though the prosecutors "were trying to do their job in Rochdale," they failed to prosecute the offenders immediately, as no one thought the victims would be believed in court.

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    Tags:
    police, prosecution, rape, sexual assault, United Kingdom
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