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Cameron may be in front of the CWO, but he must tread carefully here, since a lot of men will be reading this speech. Innocence until proven guilty, dont ever forget it, David...

Very good stuff from Cameron.

It's not only the main story in The Mail it is also top story for BBC Online and was Number 2 item on Today.

Mandatory Capital Punishment for Rape would sort things out to a great extent, zero tolerance - people generally are not going to be impressed by the announcement of another review, of which there have been many by all 3 main political groupings over decades, they want action.

Rip their ghoulies off and then garotte them.

I suppose the fact that many mistakes have been made in rape cases is of little consequence to you YAA?
Comments like the one above reflect badly on you and also this blog.

Good to hear this. Last week the local paper reported an armed robber got 24 years in prison. He shot someone and no doubt deserved a big sentence. However, how does this square with rapists and paedophiles also ruining peples lives and only get 2 or 3 years. It needs to be equaled up.

YAA, capital punishment for rapists would probably result in them killing their victims as they have nothing to lose and they then can't testify.

I wonder exactly how he thinks he can 'achieve' a greater percentage of convictions? The problem, all to often in mnay criminal cases, is that the evidence is simply to flimsy to convict. What's the solution- get rid of trial by jury for alleged rape cases? Change the law to allow a lower threshold of evidence, but for rape only? Remove the principle of 'reasonable doubt' in rape cases? All would strike at the very principles of the English legal system. Suggesting that conviction rates or levels are too 'low' smacks of suggesting that a jury isn't good enough to decide the fate of one of their peers. The last thing we want is to adopt a 'guilty until proven innocent' stance on rape- it would open the floodgates on all kinds of other crimes. Idiocy.

He must NOT allow evidence from women who were too drunk to remember.

Too drunk to remember = too drunk to consent.

Rape was a capital crime in the early nineteenth century, and as a result, juries were reluctant to convict. And making it a capital crime would, as Andrew says, make it more likely that rapists would murder their victims, as they would have nothing to lose by it.

There are a lot of reasons why the percentage of convictions is so low. Firstly, when (as is often the case) both parties have taken drink or drugs, the standard of evidence is unlikely to be sufficient to convict the defendant beyond reasonable doubt.

Secondly, what is complained of may not, legally speaking, be rape, but rather an unpleasant sexual experience, or a sexual encounter that would never have been undertaken had the parties been sober.

Thirdly, where women are in a relationship with the man who raped them, they are often reluctant to press charges, sometimes even prepared to forgive the man who has raped them.

Finally, there's a proportion of allegations that are simply malicious.

Neil Martin is absolutely right here. The reason convictions are not being obtained is that the evidence clearly does not stand scrutiny.

Having said that I do not and will not condone rape. If rape has occured, it must be punished, but not at the price of convicting innocent men.

DC is right however in saying that society has become sex mad. In that we have to look to all sectors of Society not least some of our tabloid newspapers. A bit more decorum and responsibility would be good. How about setting a good example for a change?

"In addition to calling for cultural change to address "over-sexualisation" of British society"

On the market a couple of years back I saw a glittery pink vest for sale which looked like it was designed to fit a girl of about 10/11 years of age. Across the front was emblazoned the words "Born to be a porn star" another similar girls vest had a playboy emblem printed on it and the word "Playgirl" underneath. Something must be done to ensure that traders do not produce this sort of material for children.

Parents need to show commonsense to and realize that buying baseball caps with 'FCUK' on the label is not in good taste. I am very worried that there is an industry which targets pre-teens and is aiming to make these youngsters want more precocious clothing.

On the subject of rape laws. Yes, more must be done to protect women and the issue of date-rape needs to be addressed with severe sentence guidelines to punish those who try to facilitate rape by the use of drugs.

Cameron needs to treat extremely carefully here. We live in an age of casual sex, where drink often plays a part, whether we like it or not. There have been too many cases of alleged "rape" which seemed little more than one night stands gone wrong. Juries are rightly reluctant to convict people of a very serious offence where it is one person's word against another's and the offence is stupidity (often on both sides) rather than malice. The left has made a number of crude illiberal attempts to drive up rape convictions by undermining defendants' rights further. The Tory Party would be very unwise to follow them. In fact it should be arguing for defendants' identities to remain undisclosed until conviction. The present arrangements leave innocent defendants wide open to being smeared, while false accusations can be made from behind the cloak of anonymity.

Very well put, Sean. Will Theresa May be advocating more convictions and tougher sentences for those who make false rape accusations?

There needs to be acceptance that there are differing degrees of sex without consent. There is a world of difference between a sadist snatching a nun off the street and a drunken encounter with a lady who is generally fairly generous with her favours but didn't happen to fancy the current gentleman, whilst being too befuddled to make her attitude clear.(I hasten to add that I am blameless in respect of either extreme or anything between!).

I am reminded of the anecdote about the girl who suspected that she had been slipped a date-rape drug. "..And which of the dozen vodkas do you think was spiked?!" queried the doctor.

The latter situation is analogous to a drunk staggering down a dark alley with wads of fivers poking out of every pocket, then being relieved of the cash by a mugger. Of course theft is theft is theft, whatever the circumstance - but the victim perhaps attracts somewhat less sympathy in such an instance and might be regarded as having contributed to his own downfall.

I do not agree with Activist that too drunk to remember means too drunk to consent. That is making women into victims who are not responsible for their own alcohol intake. People do things when drunk (or under the influence of drugs) that they would not do when sober. Unless the drink or drugs were somehow administered without consent, you have to live with what you've done. You chose to get drunk. You are responsible for your behaviour when drunk. Having said that, I think society, and hence juries, are too willing to treat flirtatious behaviour by a drunk woman as indicating consent to sex. The assumption seems to be that a drunk woman is "easy", so her complaints should be ignored. That attitude needs to change.

I agree that it would be wrong to lower the threshold needed for conviction in rape cases. However, the fact that the conviction rate for rape has tumbled in the last 30 years has to be a concern. The evidence shows that it is difficult to get a conviction when suspect and victim are known to each other. It may be that we need the police and prosecution to be more thorough in searching for evidence to support the allegations. There may also be other reasons to do with attitudes of society which need to be addressed - not that the Government can change society's attitudes but it can help to set the mood.

I am always taken aback by the disproportionate way that people talk about the protection of men's rights when the issue of rape is raised.

Do you actually think that 19 out of 20 women who take their case to the police are liars and drunks?

These are violent crimes against your mothers, wives, daughters, and friends that we are talking about. Why are people not more protective?

Sure, there are all sorts of difficulties surrounding rape convictions, and these difficulties should be acknowledged in prevention and correction. I suspect a low conviction rate compared to other crimes is unavoidable.

But 5.7%???

The conviction rate is yet another symptom of deteriorating law and order in this country. I'm glad we are pointing this out.

Perhaps there needs to be more focus and funding for a technological advance to more reliably identify when someone is lying.

Lucy, where did anyone say that most of the women reporting rape allegations are drunks or liars? By the way, I have two daughters.

And if my suggestions are so "disproportionate", what are you suggesting instead? If meeting an arbitrary conviction target is the goal, which is it to be (10%, 20% 30,% 100%) and how do you propose to get there? Reverse the burden of proof? Redefine rape as any act of intercourse without consent, whether the men knew or not? Populist attempts to rig the criminal law against unpopular defendants are the hallmark of an authoritarian society.

And why doesn't the same approach apply to even more heinous offences against the person? Murder for example.

The specific offences of rape, serious sexual assulat and indecent assault should be abolished, since they serves only to keep on the streets people who ought to be behind bars. Instead, the sexual element should be made an aggravating factor in offences against the person generally, enabling the maximum sentence to be doubled.

That way, a few silly cases that currently come to court would not do so, while many serious cases that currently either never make it to court or end in an acquittal would at least end in a conviction for something. My jaw drops when I hear or read reports (no doubt truthful) of women with serious injuries whose assailants were never charged with anything because there was considered little or no chance of a conviction for rape. Why were they not charged with, say, grievous bodily harm? This way, they would be.

Furthermore, this would be achieved without compromising fundamental principles such as trial by jury and the burden of proof on the part of the prosecution, both of which have already been eroded far too much (i.e., particularly in the latter case, at all).

At the same time, why is no one asking why, if there are so few convictions for rape, almost nobody who makes a false allegation of rape is ever even charged with perjury (with which, given its prevalence, next to nobody is ever charged in general), or with perverting the course of justice, or with making false statements to the Police?

All jolly good and that, but are we not told today, that the police have refused to investigate some 2m reported crimes. That is an absolute disgrace and it is time that the party made loud noises, very loud noises, regarding the state of play in this country on law and order.
As for rapists, well, chemical castration for vicious and repeat offenders. Jail time for others and very serious counselling.
But, rape whilst particularly nasty and extremely traumatising on the victim, is just one facet of the crime wave that is affecting this country. A crime wave that also has a cultural dimension, in that so-called "honour killings" need to be discouraged, as well as the particularly nasty practice of female genital mutilation.
10 years of NuLab government has seen this country degenerate into a spiral of violence and policing disappear into a miasma of PC. People spout on about rights, but no-one has any idea of their social responsibility.
DC has a very big target to aim at, and he should take regular broadsides against Gordo and the rest of his limp, vapid, corrupt and morally bankrupt ministers who have done so much to remove ethical behaviour from the map of life. Indeed Gordo deserves special mention and attack as the ex-chancellor and keeper of the purse strings. He and B-Liar were so busy running their campaigns of personal animosity and antagonism that they singularly failed to govern.

Out of interest, Lucy, why would a woman go back to a man who assaulted/raped her? My wife used to work in a womens' refuge, and tells me this would happen as often as not. I can't understand it, but if such a woman won't give evidence against her partner, it makes a conviction almost impossible to obtain.

Oh come on, Michael. I said non of that.

In most rape debates there is a disproportionate focus on the drunks and the fantasists. It's right here on this thread.

Anyone would think we had a problem with people being wrongly convicted.

A lot of rapists get off. A substantial number re-offend. We should be congratulating Cameron for taking a positive stance on this - at least a bit - before going off about false allegations.

And admittedly, this is based on my personal belief that rape is more common than our conviction rates indicate.

Having read Ken Stevens offering, words almost fail me, but I will try to muster a few. Without consent means no - the condition of the victim does not come into it. In the 'drunken encounter with a lady' example, I am not clear whether he allows them both to be drunk, but only the woman is at fault, or worse, that the man is sober and treats the lady as fair game - so that's alright then. As for the man with the money, whatever high minded thoughts one might have about his lack of sense, or his behaviour, it was his money, whoever took it should be punished (and this thread is about punishment) it is as simple as that; one can say the guy is stupid - but in the end it was his money and whoever took it should be punished. Would a defending counsel really stand up in court and say well he was asking for trouble by his behaviour, therefore my client who stole the money should be excused, and indeed one could argue m'lud that what happned to the victim will probably make him more careful in future. What tosh!

The Tory abortion dissenters were not following the scientific evidence, they were promoting their own anti-abortion views and attempting to cloak them in science.

And the 24 week Trojan horse carefully avoids mentioning the fact that only 2% of abortions are carried out after 24 weeks.

That Life poll was ridiculously weighted to give th answer that they wanted, and the 13 week limit point is also a nonsense - in most of Europe this is the limit for women to havfe abortion on demand, and in most countries doctors can approve abortions after that stage. In this country, with the exception of the Morning After Pill, you need the consent of two doctors even from week one.

I'd guess the editor is from the religious right.

Sean, I am not a psychologist.

Or was that question supposed to make some sort of point?

I've just watched the BBC News at 1 O'Clock.
The presenter announced that David Cameron would be making a speech on rape later on in the day.
She then introduced a woman from a pressure group, who told us that Cameron was just making political capital out of the subject. After a few more critical words, she was thanked and the next item was introduced.
BBC bias, or what?

In terms of rape conviction rates, the best police force is 16 times more effective than the worst. There's obviously scope for huge improvement without changing a single law. I’m very pleased that the Conservative Party is moving this issue up the agenda.

Is the answer more pornography? :)


So Lucy, please can you explain how you are going to get the conviction rate up? Who is getting off scot-free now who is going to be convicted and how?

Passing leftie serves up the usual garbage. Dr Death (aka Evan Harris MP), the humourless fanatic who wants ever more abortion and euthanisia, has been working overtime to rubbish the evidence that unborn children are
capable of survival at 22 weeks. For a man who claims to be a doctor, he has been making a lousy job of it but then his goal is simply to select facts to fit around his nihilist dogma.

If what passing leftie were saying were true, UK abortion levels would be well behind European levels. In fact, they are well behind because our laws are laxer than those in Europe because of the incessant lobbying of the pro-death movement.

Utterly predictable that because Tim is a practising Christian, passing leftie abuses him. The bigots of the secular left have a visceral hatred of practising Christians....but Islamic extremists, they are just fine.

Or was that question supposed to make some sort of point?"

No point, really, save that it would help to make convictions difficult. But I was interested to know if you, as a woman, could shed light on something that is inexplicable to me.

Well that's fine then, Mark but perhaps you can explain why rape is more of a priority than, say, murder where there are also differences in efficiency between police forces. I would have thought ALL violent crime should be top of the Conservative Party's list of priorities. But no doubt GBH againts white males (such as my brother who ws recently mugged in Central London) isn't a priority for those who wish to strike politically correct attitudes).

Mark, the figures you linked to don't in fact show the efficiency or otherwise of the police. They purport to show the % of rape allegations within different forces that led to a rape conviction. We are told nothing about the nature of the allegation; the quality of the evidence; etc etc. Inefficiency may have had a part of play but to attribute these differentials to police inefficiency is very misleading.

Surely the answer is to issue people with "intercourse consent" forms. These must be signed and exchanged prior to any act taking place. Of course proof of ID would also be required, which could be given by a recent utility bill or a photo-driving license. Perhaps having intercourse while over the alcohol limit or having taken drugs ought to be an offence.

Michael, I think rape does excite particular horror among the public, and can be particularly traumatic for its victims, over and above equivalent kinds of violence.

In all likelihood, there are a significant number of men who can get away with it, in large measure because our society has become so coarse, drunken, and violent over the past couple of generations. Types of behaviour that would have been clear pointers to guilt in the past can now just be laughed off as typical of a lads' (and ladettes') night out.

Attempting to deal with that problem, though, is a good deal harder.

Sean, it's inexplicable to me why men commit rape. I'll refrain from asking you, as a man, to explain it.

I'm closing this thread. I'm not sure it's being helpful to anyone.

The comments to this entry are closed.



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