Thursday, April 1, 2010

£40,000: the cost of probe into false sex assault

Funny, isn't it. Looking at the headline, it appears that the monetary cost of the investigation is more important than the fact that two men were arrested and jailed. And of course, she isn't named. On the positive side, neither are the two men who were wrongly arrested. And once again, the victims are considered to be people of a completely different crime. Not the ones directly affected by the false allegation.

Cost of investigation more important than two men falsely accused.

A total of £40,000 was wasted on an allegation of sexual assault in Broadstairs.

Kent Police spent the money investigating the alleged crime, which was later revealed to be the figment of a woman’s imagination.

And on Wednesday last week a 42-year-old woman was cautioned after she claimed she was assaulted at Viking Bay in September.

A police spokeswoman said: “This has now proven to be false and this week we arrested and subsequently cautioned the woman concerned.

“Police would like to thank the people of Broadstairs for their help during the investigation of a report of a serious sexual assault in the town in September.”

The woman’s caution will sit on her record after she told police that two unknown men had raped her on the beach on Sunday, September 6.

A big investigation was launched by Kent Police’s major crime department in a bid to catch the alleged attackers and two men were arrested as a result of the descriptions provided by the woman.

Extensive inquiries were carried out and numerous witnesses identified who had been on the beach that evening.

Statements were taken and the contents of these contradicted the woman’s account.

Det Insp Lee Whitehead, who led the investigation, said: “We would like to reassure the community that all allegations of this nature are treated seriously and thoroughly investigated.

“Victims of such crimes are always treated with great discretion and sensitivity.

“Any allegations proved to be false are also treated seriously and dealt with accordingly. False allegations undermine genuine victims of sexual assault and divert police resources away from what we should be concentrating on.”

Thanet’s district commander, Ch Insp Mitchell Fox, said: “I said in September this was out of character for Broadstairs, which has a deserved reputation as a very safe place to live, work and visit.”