Let the BNP speak – and drown in its own poison | Rod Liddle - Times Online.
Rod Liddle makes sense on the BNP, but that's not why I draw his column today to your attention. I have been worrying recently about the facile assumption by Harriet Harman and her supporters in the press that a "low conviction rate" for rape in Britain necessarily means that more rapists are going unpunished here than elsewhere. There are many reasons why a prosecution might fail, most notably the one that Labour Ministers never seem to consider; that the accused might be innocent. Setting targets for conviction rates is very dangerous. More justified convictions are a good thing. More unsound ones are not. It seems that Liddle has been considering the point too and may have found the answer;
Britain has the lowest rate of convictions for rape in Europe and the figure is still falling every year, a new study suggests. This is taken to mean that British juries have a bit of a soft spot for rapists and are increasingly inclined to let them go free, perhaps because our jurors are mad, ignorant, or misogynist, or all three. What the study did not reveal is that the actual number of men convicted of rape has actually stayed pretty much the same, on average, in the past 15 to 20 years – and at a figure which is comparable with most other countries in Europe.
The big change has been a massive (almost twentyfold) increase in allegations of rape and consequent prosecutions which, by the time they reach court, simply do not hold water. The government, led by Harriet Harman, seems to have a perverse wish to prove that more British women are being raped than is the case. It has told the Old Bill that it wants to see more convictions; hence the enormous rise in prosecutions. Isn’t it this politically inspired mania for prosecutions that has resulted in our low conviction rate, rather than the notion that men commit 20 times as many rapes as they did a couple of decades ago?
Interesting theory. What do you think?