A major new Panorama documentary that follows Derbyshire police officer’s investigation of rape airs tonight (28 March).
Last year officers from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit were followed by a documentary team to show the work that goes into investigating reports of rape.
The unit, which is staffed by detectives who specialise in investigating the offence, gave the Panorama filmmakers access to show the high-level investigation that happens once a report is made.
The documentary crew also spoke with survivors of rape, who told of their own experiences of the criminal justice system and explained the impact the crime had on their lives.
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Kirby, the force lead for rape and serious sexual assault, said: “This is an incredibly powerful film that shows the devastating impact on survivors as well as the reality of investigating this most serious of crimes.
“The courage and dignity shown by those who have told their story is incredibly powerful and serves as a timely reminder of the reason that people work in our force – to support victims and bring to justice those responsible.”
The film raises questions about the charge and conviction rates in relation to rape, which have dropped across the country in recent years
ACC Kirby said: “ACC Kirby said: “It is clear the whole criminal justice system has work to do to increase detection and conviction rates, and there is ongoing work at a national level, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service, to help secure the best possible outcomes for survivors.
“However, what is also obvious from the film is the dedication of those officers’ investigating reports of rape and I hope that sends a clear message to anyone who needs to come forward that they will be taken seriously, treated with compassion, the investigation will be thorough and, wherever possible, charges sought.”
The film, which airs tonight (28 March) at 9pm on BBC1, also shows the support services that can be accessed by survivors of rape – and demonstrates the hugely positive impact that they have.
ACC Kirby said: “All people reporting rape will be given access to support services from specialist organisation and we work closely with partners like SV2 in Derbyshire to ensure that survivors can access support at the earliest opportunity to give them the help that they need.
“Survivors are also able to access this support directly, with no requirement to make a report to the police, and this can be done at any time of the day or night.
“And, as can be seen in the film, these services are quite literally lifesaving in the care they provide.”
If you are a survivor of rape, you can contact the force at any time using any of the below methods – and if you believe you are currently in a life-threatening situation then you should always ring 999.
- Facebook– send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
- Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
- Phone – call us on 101.
Anyone wishing to report an incident online can do so either with their name, or anonymously, by using this form: How to report rape, sexual assault or other sexual offences | Derbyshire Constabulary
You can also access support by visiting the SV2 website www.sv2.org.uk or by calling the 24-hour hotline on 01773 746 115.