A report was published by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales that stated that victims were accused of lying to the police while registering their complaints. However, the victims said that they were mistreated by and dissatisfied with the police.
The Engagement with Children and Young People reported that many of these survivors were not only accused of lying but one victim was referred to as a “little bitch” by the reporting officer. More details about these reported that the confidentiality and privacy of the child abuse victims were not honoured by the police, as they were visited by uniformed officers at their schools without prior notice. We were told that this could lead to reprisal from the abuser and their close associates.
The students of child sexual abuse were stopped from retelling their trauma. One of them was stopped by the teacher who said “Don’t tell me because I will have to repeat this.” One child reported bullying and harassment about a peer to a teacher who took the information to the perpetrator’s guardians before taking it to the police which weakened the case. The perpetrator was allowed to attend the same class as the victim who describes the experience as “severely traumatic”.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley responded to this report by saying how deeply concerning it was to hear that the victims of sexual abuse were accused of lying when reporting to the police. He also said that he truly believes the police force has a dedicated staff across the country who treat these victims with kindness, compassion, and respect. A promise was also made by the Deputy Chief Constable that the views of the accused will be taken seriously and will be used to do better in the future.