Kent Police is facing an outcry after Internet users shared images of a poster displayed in its station window in Maidstone that classed rape and sexual assault as ‘non-emergency’ crimes.
The poster – a black-and-white A4 printout – told passers-by how ‘non-emergency enquiries’ can be shared with the police force via an online form, and listed rape and sexual assault in the same category as anti-social behaviour, fraud and road traffic incidents.
A snap of the poster has been circulated on social media, with one user writing a message to Kent Police which read: ‘This just goes to show how done out this country is getting!
‘How can you downplay such a horrific and violent crime?
‘I get it’s hard to prove but going about it like this ain’t the way. Absolute tools.’
Another chipped in: ‘Kent Police in solidarity with the Met,’ following the release of a damning report that described the Met Police as ‘broken and corrupt’ off the back of a year-long review into the organisation conducted by Baroness Louise Casey.
The poster – a black-and-white A4 printout – told passers-by how ‘non-emergency enquiries’ can be shared with the police force, and listed rape and sexual assault in the same category as anti-social behaviour
Kent Police said the poster was on display at Maidstone police station and has since been removed
The image of the poster was shared on March 15. It is unclear when the sign was first displayed, though a Kent Police spokesperson told The Telegraph it had since been removed.
‘The poster in question was put up by a member of police staff at the front counter in Maidstone police station but has since been removed and replaced by a poster clarifying our advice about how best to report crimes to us,’ the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, a statement released by Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Banks – the head of protecting vulnerable people at Kent Police, said the force takes the investigation of sexual assaults ‘extremely seriously’.
She said: ‘We urge anyone to call us on 999 if there is a crime in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. Doing so can make the difference between arresting a suspect at the scene and in some cases saving a life
‘Kent Police takes the investigation of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault extremely seriously and we support victims to come forward and speak to us.
‘They can report crimes anonymously and they can also approach us via a range of support organisations.
‘All reports of rape or sexual assault, made through whatever channel are reviewed by a detective sergeant, and are ultimately overseen by a senior officer as part of a thorough review process aimed at ensuring justice and support for all victims.’
Social media users shared images of the poster and hit out at Kent Police
One social media user said Kent police is in solidarity with the Met – in reference to a bombshell new report by Baroness Louise Casey (pictured) that Scotland Yard is ‘broken’ and its ‘rotten’ ranks are riven with racism, misogyny and homophobia
The anger at Kent police comes as a bombshell new report claimed the Met police cannot be trusted to police itself and may harbour many more predatory officers like Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick.
In the most damning report in its near 200-year history, the force is described as institutionally racist and corrupt as well as misogynistic and homophobic.
Baroness Casey, who spent a year examining Scotland Yard’s culture and practices, said there was a ‘rot’ at its heart that allowed racism to go unchallenged and predatory behaviour to ‘flourish’.
She said successive Met commissioners had ‘failed to ensure the integrity of its officers and the organisation’.
She demanded a ‘complete overhaul’ of the £4 billion service, saying anything less would be ‘clutching at straws’.
Baroness Casey warned there was nothing to stop other rapists in the ranks, adding: ‘In the absence of vigilance toward those who intend to abuse the office of constable, predatory and unacceptable behaviour has been allowed to flourish. There are too many places for people to hide.’
Characterising a culture of ‘blindness, arrogance and prejudice’, her report identified failings across nearly all departments, which have been ignored due to a ‘culture of denial and defensiveness’.
In conclusion, Baroness Casey said the force had lost public trust and become ‘unanchored’ from the founding principles established by Robert Peel in 1829.
‘The Met is in danger of losing its way – consent is broken,’ she said. ‘Too often, the Met seems to act in its own self interest rather than the interests of the public it serves.’
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