Call for urgent action over rape counselling postcode lottery

Northumbrias Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird.
Northumbrias Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird.

Dame Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, has expressed concern at reports that rape complainants are being told by police that they ‘are not allowed’ to have counselling since it may prejudice them if their case goes to trial.

CPS guidance has allowed therapy since 2002.

Dame Vera said: “Northumbria Police assure me that this is not happening within Northumbria, however that can’t be said elsewhere.

“CPS guidance is clear. Rape Crisis state on their website that the facts of the case will not be discussed in counselling which is about recovery, not re-visiting.

“Both the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs Council need urgently to circulate all forces to stop this outdated practice which means rape complainants get a postcode lottery. It is shocking that this practice is continuing.”