Supreme Court rules police failings in John Worboys case breached victims’ human rights

21st February 2018: A historic ruling by the Supreme Court has confirmed that the police must properly investigate rape to ensure victims’ human rights are protected. SRT grantees the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition and Southall Black Sisters intervened in the case along with two other women’s rights groups.

The Metropolitan Police sought to challenge the High Court’s landmark ruling in a case brought by victims of the serial rapist John Worboys, which established that the police have a duty under the Human Rights Act to investigate serious violence against women, and when they fail to meet this duty they can be held accountable in the courts.

EVAW, Southall Black Sisters and their colleagues are now calling on the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary to read the full judgment, which makes clear the State has a responsibility to have effective and enforceable laws on rape and sexual violence.

Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters, said, ‘This judgment amounts to a vindication of the rule of law itself, and it will have far-reaching ramifications, not just for abused and raped women, but for all other vulnerable and powerless groups who are forced to look to the police for protection and some semblance of justice in the face of serious crimes of violence.’

Rachel Krys, co-director of the EVAW Coalition, said, ‘This is an extremely significant ruling which demands the police do their job properly, especially when a serious and very harmful crime has been committed. We hope that this ruling will be a wake-up call to the police and the whole justice system, they must acknowledge they have a duty to ensure women are protected and rapists can’t act with impunity.’

Full story from Southall Black Sisters’ website:

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