Interesting number

Nearly one in five of all women in England and Wales report that they have been the victim of a sexual offence since the age of 16, according to a new official analysis.

The study says there are about 473,000 adult victims of sex crimes every year

It does rather depend upon what the definition of a \”sex crime\” is.

99 comments on “Interesting number

  1. Oh my god, the “1 in 4 women have been raped” figure all over again. Which included women answering honestly questions like “did anyone ever touch your boobs when you were 13?”

    I note the sanctimonious Guardian had to amend their headline from “sexual assault” to “sexual offences”. At least they admit it.

  2. The prevalence estimates are from the British Crime Survey, so the definition of a sex crime here is ‘as specified in the Sexual Offences Act 2003′.

    As for Ltw’s comment, the BCS intimate violence questionnaire only asks about victimisation from 16 years of age onwards.

    Oh, I should also mention that my own daughter recently turned 13 and so I’m anything but inclined to be dismissive of the idea that someone trying to cop a feel at that age should be considered a sexual offence.

    Indeed, paternal instincts being what they are, I’d be more inclined to bemoan the fact that nailing the perp’s scrotum to the floor is not amongst the sentencing options for such offences.

  3. I remember reading something about groping on the tube a while back, and asking all my female colleagues if they had ever been groped on the tube. Cue opening of floodgates – a hundred and one stories about sleazy blokes rubbing up against them &c. The problem was that I had just come in on the Waterloo & City line at rush hour – a time when it is nigh on physically impossible not to be crushed against someone of either sex.

    And, true enough, after a bit of cross-examination, it turned out that whilst there were some genuinely nasty occurrences, a significant number of the horror stories could be summarised as “I was crushed against this guy in a crowded tube but he was ugly and smelled a bit and I didn’t like it.”*

    It rather seems to me that we elevate ‘sexual’ assault above ‘normal’ assault to a ridiculous degree. No one disputes that there are ‘normal’ assaults that, whist unpleasant and mildly upsetting, you wouldn’t bother to report to the police (someone grabbing you by the lapels in an argument, for example), but when someone doesn’t report a low-level ‘sexual assault’ (eg someone getting their arse pinched) suddenly we live in a patriachal culture of rape.

    *and, in fairness, a few that went “I was crushed against this really handsome chap and I didn’t mind at all.” They weren’t all being ridiculous.

  4. @Unity I imagine a fair number of 13 year old girls have their boobs felt by 13 year old boys, perfectly consensually. That’s still a sexual offence, isn’t it?

    I remember accidentally sgroping a fellow student during a game of Chowie when we were about 16. Lock me up now.

  5. I expect it is the old trick of casting the net as wide as possible and then implying the catch refers only to the extreme on of the scale.

    For example, consider BMI and the issue of ‘obesity’. You will see headlines like ‘50%’ of people are overweight or obese’, where being ‘overweight’ is having a BMI over 25. 90% of the ‘overweight’ people will be within a pasty or two of the 25 mark, but the implication is they are all colossally fat and will die unless Progressives are given power to determine what you can eat.

    Always look for the detail of the definition. Unfortunately no-one in our media does, so 99.9% of the population are going to swallow the hysterical lie.

  6. Left Outside… your point is?

    Back of a fag packet, but: population 60m, of whom 1% are borderline personality disorder (cf mind.org)… that’s 600,000. 75% of BPD are female, which makes about 450,000.

    Nuff said, really.

  7. My wife has been flashed several times, including once in a bar where a guy (who was pissed) whipped out his cock and said, What do you think of that, then?

    She said it looked like a penis, only smaller (the old ones being the best), at which point his mates pissed themselves and he put it away.

    Obviously, those are sexual offences, so she is in the 20%.

    On the other hand, I knew a girl called Rebecca F—— who used regularly to get her norks out in pubs in the area around Market Harborough; I’ve seen those babies a number of times. So I suppose I’m a victim, too.

  8. LeftO @ #6,

    I have to agree with ftumch, I can’t see the relevance of the linked article “Women, Liberty, Marketing, and Social Science”.

    It says nothing about sex crimes, nothing about crime statistics, nothing about the prevalence of sub-criminal or unreported sexual insult (physical insult not verbal).

    If you think it says something clever about “libertarians”, please remember that, like “liberal”, the common meaning of the word is something rather different on the nuttier side of the pond.

  9. “It rather seems to me that we elevate ‘sexual’ assault above ‘normal’ assault to a ridiculous degree. “

    Especially if you can claim it was a Seventies TV star wot dun it!

  10. The Progressive feminist hegemony has brainwashed women to think groping is bad. Spoilsports!

    err…I don’t think anyone has said it’s good. Just that it’s not rape. Which it’s, um, not.

  11. Unity, welcome to a fun few years. Your daughter is very likely to at least pash someone, possibly screw them, in the near future. You might want to stock up on nails.

    Ok, let’s make it two 16 year olds then. One flashes the other (doesn’t matter which). Does that deserve to be counted as a ‘sexual offense’? Under the act, maybe it is. But when people read such a headline, they don’t think of something as harmless as that.

  12. Well, there is some degree of leeway about what counts as bad and not bad and so on, but we are in a current state in which the disproportion is so grotesque that it is tantamount to lying.

    No, it is lying.

    I’ve just read the daily Telegraph announcement that after several weeks of thorough stovey Plod have been concluded that Jimmy Savile is more evil than Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan and The Joker. I am not sure point at what moment precisely we awarded the police and their friends in the NSPCC to award guilt arbitrarily, but apparently we are now in some kind of state of artificial reality. You just issue a “report”. Apparently.

    Okay look, I have to admit it. This girl not only grabbed my bottom once but pressed me against a wall demanding sex. Honest. The experience still haunts me. I was assaulted. And then got really quite upset when I said no. It was about 1990. Please, I need some kind of closure. Maybe fifty grand would do it. If not, it would at least make a start in repairing my fractured life.

    Really, we’re living in a fucking madhouse.

  13. sam,

    err…I don’t think anyone has said it’s good. Just that it’s not rape. Which it’s, um, not.

    Who said that it is rape?

    Ian B,

    I have no idea what “stovey” means.

    I think it’s some kind of cake.

  14. Damn, I was just going to use the word on another comment board, pretending to know what it means.

    It’s a good word actually, especially if it is brand new.

  15. IanB : “…but apparently we are now in some kind of state of artificial reality. “

    It’s become a cliche to say that ‘the world’s gorn mad!’ but looking at the newspapers today, I can only conclude that it has.

    And that the vast majority of people seem to prefer it that way…

  16. And that the vast majority of people seem to prefer it that way…

    During one of these phases of organised hysteria, that is to be expected, unfortunately. You can’t have a witch hunt unless you can get a goodly number of ordinary folks terrified of witches.

  17. It’s not organised hysteria, it’s people saying, ‘Bloody hell, Jimmy Savile was a sick bastard.’

    No-one has ‘concluded that Jimmy Savile is more evil than Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan and The Joker’, either.

    Savile won’t get his day in court, but I suspect he’d have preferred it this way.

    Some other ‘seventies TV stars’ are still under investigation because we don’t have a rule that says you can get away with molesting people if it was ages ago.

    JuliaM, IanB seem to think everyone else has gone mad because they are leaping to conclusions but actually the conclusion (it’s all a media hysteria) is being leapt to by them (unless they have inside knowledge?).

    Personally, I would trust the cops who’ve done the interviews and met the complainants over an internet polymath/plumber (?) with a special interest in porn and a World of Warcraft-mad why-oh-whying Daily Mail obsessive, but then this is the Internet :-)

  18. “On the other hand, I knew a girl called Rebecca F—— who used regularly to get her norks out in pubs in the area around Market Harborough”

    Small world! I’ve had someone flash their breasts at me in a pub in Market Harborough (the Nags Head). She wasn’t called Rebecca though.

  19. Serious point though there is a continuum of “sexual assault” and including everything from flashing an adult woman to violent gang rape on the same spectrum isn’t that helpful.

  20. I’ve never played World Of Warcraft. Your faith in the authorities on this issue is grotesquely naive.

    Also, electrician.

    Also, you are, to put it bluntly, a damned fool.

  21. Also, note this chilling little quote-

    “Too often they were not taken seriously. We must not allow this to happen again – those who come forward must be given a voice and swift action taken to verify accounts of abuse.”

    Not even, “investigate”. No, every allegation must be “verified”.

  22. Speaking as a victim of sexual assault (I once had my bum touched by a girl (I think and hope)) when I was a waiter in a Shrewsbury nightclub, and also an offender (I once touched a girls bottom in the crush at a student bar), I consider myself an expert on the subject, and I can safely say that neither of us were particularly traumatised by the events; and Tim’s report sounds like a hysterical load of old cobblers, and I am sick of hearing BBC newsreaders droning on about J Savile as though he was some sort of Beria-like figure.

    Deeply unpleasant I am sure, but not I would submit, one of the first division monsters of a monstrous century.

  23. Yes, but is it “rape rape”, I.e. the “not rape” violent anal rape of an underaged girl by a famous film director?

    I think our alleged ‘betters’ have a somewhat confused view of the whole business.

  24. World of Warcraft was aimed at JuliaM, as the ‘and’ denoted.

    I’m not sure an electrician (I did insert a question mark) is any more qualified to comment on complex police investigations than a plumber.

    Re ‘faith in the authorities’, I’m not a big fan of them myself, but do I suspect JS was a pervert? Yes, I think I do.

    It’s not so much faith in the one side, it’s more a distrust of the tinfoil-wearing conspiracy theorists on the other.

    On the one hand, we have a bunch of presumably reasonably disinterested detectives and a bunch of complainants (some of whom may be in it for the money, who knows); on the other hand, we have an internet polymath/electrician with a special interest in porn *and* a World of Warcraft-mad why-oh-whying Daily Mail obsessive. Hmmm.

    @Cuffleyburgers: ‘Deeply unpleasant I am sure, but not I would submit, one of the first division monsters of a monstrous century.’

    He wasn’t Hitler. He wasn’t Stalin. He wasn’t Mugabe, or Mao, or Peter Sutcliffe.

    We get it.

    But it’s not ‘hysterical’ (cf Mr Tinfoil) to say that *if* he raped and indecently assaulted young kids in hospital he was a *deeply* unpleasant man.

  25. “Savile ‘spent every waking minute thinking about abusing children’ ”

    Ian- that’s a typo, there’s a missing “n”.

  26. There was a time when “polymath” was a compliment, not an insult. That was in the days before the world was taken over by pinheads who will believe any old shit if it’s spouted by somebody with an “official position”.

    You know why witch hunts and pogroms happen? It’s because too many people will believe any old bullshit. When, as in the modern world, you have an entire distinct sector of the economy who get into work on monday morning saying, “right, how can we spread more bullshit?”, to be anything other than a cynic leaves you woefully vulnerable.

    I still would like to know where the police actually get the authority to be judge and jury on the deceased. Anyone got an answer for this?

  27. Ross-

    Even with the “n”, the headline is beyond absurd. Dreyfuss got a fairer hearing than this. Honestly, I find myself drawn to keep commenting about this because, despite understanding how flawed we all are as human beings, I still find it beyond comprehension that people can read this kind of nonsense and actually take it seriously. How fucking stupid does someone have to be take this at face value?

  28. ” The Progressive feminist hegemony has brainwashed women to think groping is bad. Spoilsports!”
    When I was a teenaged boy and I first started going into pubs i.e about 14-15, it was a very regular occurrence to be groped by slightly drunken middle-aged women. And yet, I still live.

  29. @ interested
    “On the one hand, we have a bunch of presumably reasonably disinterested detectives…”
    You also believe in Santa?

  30. When I was a teenaged boy and I first started going into pubs i.e about 14-15, it was a very regular occurrence to be groped by slightly drunken middle-aged women. And yet, I still live.

    Not sure what your point is. I think I understand, but it seems like a silly point. Perhaps you will clarify.

  31. “I still would like to know where the police actually get the authority to be judge and jury on the deceased. Anyone got an answer for this?”

    From the NSPCC maybe ?

  32. ” The Progressive feminist hegemony has brainwashed women to think groping is bad. Spoilsports!”

    I think their agenda is simply to demonise men… and if they can transfer the advantage women have in the family courts to the criminal courts – for example the burden of proof required in rape cases – then we blokes are in for a bloody rough time…

  33. @ interested [34]

    “But it’s not ‘hysterical’ (cf Mr Tinfoil) to say that *if* he raped and indecently assaulted young kids in hospital he was a *deeply* unpleasant man.”

    This aint the way the BBC is running with this though… there’s very little *if* about it.

    @ Johnnydub

    “we blokes are in for a bloody rough time…”

    Whaddayamean “in for”? It’s been like this for some time.

    @ Ian B

    “The police derive their authority from the NSPCC now?”

    I’m with you, man. The world is fucking mad.

  34. I imagine they have the same authority in that regard as the rest of us; which is to say, none. But the dead can’t sue, can they? That said, I am uncomfortable with the idea of an officer saying, “[dead person] was a [criminal]” if it hasn’t been proved in court, as well as inventing what went through the person’s mind. On the other hand you can’t convict the dead and send them to prison.

    Apparently there is a “compelling picture of widespread sexual abuse by a predatory sex offender” – to date, 214 formal reports over 28 force areas. Other publications might say there is a “preponderance of evidence”. Which of the “first division monsters” of the twentieth century were tried and convicted? Presumably we should call them alleged mass murderers and alleged genocidal maniacs?

    Aside from perpetuation and enhancement of the Progressive feminist hegemony, what is this report trying to achieve, is that A Good Thing and is how it has been gone about A Good Thing?

  35. For an insight into a previous sex scandal, may I recommend The Secret of Bryn Estyn by Richard Webster. As well as covering Bryn Estyn he has a small chapter on the 2008 Jersey child abuse sensation. reading it might damage your confidence in the police just a little.

  36. That is the civil standard not the criminal. If there are 218 allegations the bluebottles can’t possibly have had time to sift and evaluate the quality of that evidence, even if they wanted it too. It is not the job ob the police to make pronouncements such as this. The only reason to dom so is to serve the femminist agenda.

  37. Interested – “It’s not organised hysteria, it’s people saying, ‘Bloody hell, Jimmy Savile was a sick bastard.’”

    But that’s the problem. We don’t know JS was a sick bastard. We just have any number of shrieking headlines tell us, hysterically, that he was. There is still precious little evidence of it.

    “Some other ‘seventies TV stars’ are still under investigation because we don’t have a rule that says you can get away with molesting people if it was ages ago.”

    No but you can if you’re the right sort of celebrity. No one is going to ask Jimmy Page and David Bowie about their shared 12-13 year old girlfriend. For that matter no one is going to ask Andy Murray how old his wife was when they first slept together – she was a ball boy at a tournament I think offhand?

    “JuliaM, IanB seem to think everyone else has gone mad because they are leaping to conclusions but actually the conclusion (it’s all a media hysteria) is being leapt to by them (unless they have inside knowledge?).”

    Except the missing word is evidence. The other missing word is proof. We have had little of either when it comes to JS. Media hysteria on the other hand is well evidenced.

    “Personally, I would trust the cops who’ve done the interviews and met the complainants over an internet polymath/plumber (?) with a special interest in porn and a World of Warcraft-mad why-oh-whying Daily Mail obsessive, but then this is the Internet :-)”

    If you going to be rude stop being a gutless arse and get rid of the smiley face. Insulting people isn’t any better because you whimp out at the last minute. Have the courage to stand by yout insult.

    By all means, trust the police. But ask about the evidence. JS is accused of three dozen or so rapes. I expect that he did sleep with a lot of 15 or 16 year old girls over the years. The vast majority of whom probably still aren’t complaining. For which he should have gone to jail. Not sure that makes him a paedophile. Compare with the send off for John Peel who openly admitted to the same. The rest seems to be hands carelessly placed. How this is national news I do not know. It is, as IanB says, a national hysteria.

    And that’s if you ignore the fact that Britain is full of the mentally ill. Many of whom are likely to fixate on someone like Savile.

  38. My own experience, many years ago, never got into the national statistics at all. I was eighteen.
    When I fell victim to a sexually motivated attacker, I got suddenly plunged into a fight with him. Out of the blue.
    It was in his house, and together with some friends, I was an invited guest. Having enticed my friends into the front room, to see the train set, he confronted me in the kitchen, demanding sex. I said no. Explosion of violence ensued.
    He picked me up and threw me against the sideboard. Then he dragged me to the fireplace, and tried to shove my face into the fire. I resisted, and when he let up I grabbed the coal tongs from the hearth, and used them to put burning coals onto him. in the hope that he would burst into flames. He didn’t, but he yelped and screamed and backed off. I tried to use the poker to put his eye out. And I hit him over the head with it too. And I kept kicking him in the privates. Thank God for sensible shoes.
    We had thumped eachother, kicked eachother, bitten eachother, and when my friends finally managed to break into the room (he had shoved the couch against the door), they were confronted with the task of stopping me, from crashing him over the head with a lead crystal vase.
    The bloody spoilsports. Just as I was winning…

    A lot of me turned really black, especially where I had hit the handles on the sideboard. There were obvious bite marks on my hands, and I lied to my parents. Told them I had been bitten by a dog. They never saw the extent of the rest. My Girl Guide uniform, torn to shreds, I folded and stored away to hide the damage.

    But I never felt the need to run to the police, because I didn’t need to. The retribution I had inflicted on my assailant was enough for me.
    Five feet tall, and not a hundred pounds dripping wet. And he was a lot bigger and more powerful than me.
    But I was a lot cleverer than him….

  39. Interested: “No-one has ‘concluded that Jimmy Savile is more evil than Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan and The Joker’, either.”

    Really? Have you seen the front page of the ‘Sun’ today? Savile is ‘Britain’s worst sex beast’, apparently.

    As Heresy Corner pointed out on Twitter, what about Fred West then…

  40. ftumch: “This aint the way the BBC is running with this though…”

    They might have cause to regret their enthusiasm now they are in the firing line to provide closure and justice to the poor suffering victims.

    Sorry! Did I say closure and justice? I meant filthy lucre, of course…

  41. And I kept kicking him in the privates. Thank God for sensible shoes.

    If you’d been in stilettos, a good hard stamp on the nuts with either heel might have been sufficient to permanently distract him.

  42. When you read about the Saville case and then compare it to what Anna Raccoon says, you quickly get the feeling that many of the “victims” are jumping on a bandwagon of potential compensation seeking. Lots of stories, none of which can be proved and all they need to do is sue and the organization (NHS, School, etc) will pay rather than drag it on for ever at huge cost and huge embarrassment.

  43. the organization (NHS, School, etc) will pay rather than drag it on for ever at huge cost and huge embarrassment.

    Because you can’t defend somebody who is clearly the most evil sexual predator ever. Simply indefensible.

    And that’s the meme and it has been widely accepted. In the general public which is the pool from which juries are drawn, if it ever got to trial.

  44. @UKLiberty:
    My point is that it’s very easy for people with an agenda to make something out of nothing.

  45. SMFS, IanB, JuliaM

    OK, so we have all you nutjobs excoriating ‘the authorities’, and questioning the disinterestedness of the police, because they have no evidence that Savile was a sick bastard.

    Lots of amusing ironies, here.

    1. You have no evidence, at all, that the police are *not* disinterested investigators of historic sex offences. If you have, please show it. (Note: ‘It’s all to placate the feminazis’ is not evidence.)

    2. Your view also clashes somewhat with the suggestion – for which there actually *is* evidence – that if there was *any* interest on the part of the police it was in shoving this all under the carpet and not really investigating when complaints were made.

    3. SMFS said: ‘Except the missing word is evidence. The other missing word is proof. We have had little of either when it comes to JS.’

    Except for all those hundreds of people who have made statements saying that Savile was a sick bastard, to them. In your slightly deranged mind, I guess these are other people – the vast, conspiratorial ‘they’, who just make stuff up for kicks, and the cops just believe them?

    ‘Proof’-wise, here’s a hint, chief: if it *had* gone to court, with historic allegations like that (no DNA etc), that’s *still* all you’d have. Savile would say he was innocent and a jury would decide. If they found him guilty, would they then be part of the vast hysteria?

    Further stuff:

    JuliaM – The Sun concluding that ‘Savile is Britain’s worst sex beast’ does *not* mean that anyone is concluding that he was ‘more evil than Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan and The Joker’. Does it? The Sun is a tabloid newspaper – it’s what they do. It’s their job. Like your job seems to be ‘sitting all day on your computer playing war games and dropping comments on Daily Mail stories all over the internet’.

    SMFS – the smiley face was a little wind-up, not an attempt to be friendly. I’m not sure what the verb ‘to whimp’ means.

    ‘No but you can if you’re the right sort of celebrity. No one is going to ask Jimmy Page and David Bowie about their shared 12-13 year old girlfriend.’

    That’s weird. Because I thought you were all *against* people making allegations of historic sex abuse with no evidence? Unless, of course, you *do* have evidence for this, in which case I suggest you trot along to your nearest cop shop and tell them what you know.

    IanB: I was using ‘polymath’ sarcastically, as in you claim to know a suspiciously large amount of stuff about a very wide range of things, but I suspect a lot of it is blowhardery.

  46. I would expect some of the ‘abuse’ allegations to be trying it on to get some money or sympathy.
    Some. Nowhere near all.
    If you can prove you were in the studio, in the same town, same building etc as the dead man was, how can anyone prove different?
    Eyewitnesses are not the most reliable evidence to convict on their own, after years and even decades….
    Does happen however.

    Conviction by the media after death does happen too. Even for crimes that were not done.

  47. Mr Ecks,

    That is the civil standard not the criminal.

    Yep. Already said there hasn’t been and won’t be a trial.

    If there are 218 allegations the bluebottles can’t possibly have had time to sift and evaluate the quality of that evidence, even if they wanted it too.

    Since Operation Yewtree began on the 5 of October 2012 approximately 600 people have come forward to provide information to the investigative team. The total number of these relating to Savile is expected to be about 450, mainly alleging sexual abuse.

    Most but not all victims have been interviewed and to date 214 criminal offences have been formally recorded across 28 force areas in which Savile is a suspect.

    It is not the job ob the police to make pronouncements such as this.

    To do what? Say that they think someone was a criminal?

    Are commenters here suggesting (1) there shouldn’t have been an investigation, or are they (2) suggesting the police and press should be more careful with their language?

    I have no disagreement with position 2.

  48. Allegations made by alleged victims and witnesses are evidence. It is evidence that should be investigated / tested, but it is nonetheless evidence.

    Commenters might also be more careful with their language.

  49. Interested: “Except for all those hundreds of people who have made statements saying that Savile was a sick bastard, to them.”

    Oh, dear. So, if I mustered hundreds of people to give statements that you were a sexual pest, we could skip the trial and go right to the sentencing? Excellent! I like this new justice!

    UKLiberty: “Commenters might also be more careful with their language.”

    Might we? Well, if we breach the host’s boundaries, I’m sure he’ll let us know. It is his blog, after all. Not yours.

  50. UKLiberty: ‘Allegations…are evidence’

    No, they are allegations which have to be proven in court beyond reasonable doubt etc. for which there may or may not be supporting evidence.

  51. @JuliaM ‘Oh, dear. So, if I mustered hundreds of people to give statements that you were a sexual pest, we could skip the trial and go right to the sentencing? Excellent! I like this new justice!’

    The brains are not strong with this one.

    We are ‘skipping the trial’ because Jimmy Savile is dead.

    If I were dead, too, I suppose you could have a go at this. However, unless you have a very large network of friends, something I find distinctly hard to believe, you would fail, because I’ve never assaulted anyone.

    Which is sort of the point. Unless you are *really* suggesting that this is what has happened here – that some sort of controlling mind (or minds) has encouraged people to make spurious complaints about Savile?

    If so: name the mind and smash the conspiracy!

    It’s not ‘new justice’ for the same reason – ie that Savile is dead.

    If he were alive, there would not be this kind of reporting until after his conviction *subject to* a firmer and stronger application on journalists of the restraints on pre-trial reporting contained in the Contempt of Court Act (which I would support).

  52. If he were alive, there would not be this kind of reporting until after his conviction

    I know you did qualify it but remember, CCA81 only applies (see s2(3) and Schedule 1) post arrest or charge. I suspect Saville would have been promptly arrested and bailed once the story got out but …

  53. UKLiberty: “Commenters might also be more careful with their language.”

    Might we? Well, if we breach the host’s boundaries, I’m sure he’ll let us know. It is his blog, after all. Not yours.

    Woosh.

    Max,

    UKLiberty: ‘Allegations…are evidence’

    No, they are allegations which have to be proven in court beyond reasonable doubt etc. for which there may or may not be supporting evidence.

    Allegations are evidence. If I say, “I saw Max steal a car,” that is evidence. Yes, my evidence must be tested.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_(law)
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/evidence

  54. Allegations are evidence. If I say, “I saw Max steal a car,” that is evidence. Yes, my evidence must be tested.

    But “I saw Max steal a car” isn’t evidence. The immediate rejoinder is “How did you know that was theft?”

    “Max steals cars” is an allegation. “I saw Max get in to a car with reg no A727 UOV (msrip) and drive it away,” is witness evidence.

    Of course, this is an academic discussion re Saville where it is likely that the only two witnesses to the core of the issue are the complainant and the alleged (and dead) assailant …

  55. Interested,

    Except for all those hundreds of people who have made statements saying that Savile was a sick bastard, to them. In your slightly deranged mind, I guess these are other people – the vast, conspiratorial ‘they’, who just make stuff up for kicks, and the cops just believe them?

    And yet, none of them made a complaint to the police at the time. I can understand some people being scared to do so, but not 400+. That’s just bullshit. Read the CPS report on the Savile case. They basically have “someone came forward alleging that Savile put a girl’s hand on his crotch”. The girl was a few days short of 16 and didn’t want to co-operate. And that’s it in terms of evidence from the time (and honestly, if you think that a few days makes a difference then you might as well believe in pussy trolls).

    Yet, we’ve got hundreds of people claiming he abused them, none of whom came forward when he was alive, or even when he was dead, but after a TV programme had been broadcast. Explain that.

    In a country of 70m people, with millions of people following the story, is it possible that a few hundred either called in for a prank, or because they are mentally ill, or attention-seeking?

  56. And yet, none of them made a complaint to the police at the time … we’ve got hundreds of people claiming he abused them, none of whom came forward when he was alive

    Apparently there were complaints ‘at the time':

    Perhaps the most important learning from this appalling case is in relation to the children and adults who spoke out about Jimmy Savile at the time. Too often they were not taken seriously.

    Yet, we’ve got hundreds of people claiming he abused them, none of whom came forward when he was alive, or even when he was dead, but after a TV programme had been broadcast. Explain that.

    The CPS report deals with four complaints made in 2007/08 – before that TV programme?

  57. @Surreptitious Evil, actually I disagree. The newspapers *tend* not to make serious allegations of this type where the person involved has the cash for lawyers. In this case, for example, it was an open secret in Fleet Street (apparently) that Savile was no good, and yet no-one ran anything.

    Certainly, it would never have built up this head of steam – The Sun would not have splashed on him being Britain’s worst sex pest (or whatever) if he was alive under any circumstances other than a proper conviction. (I suppose if they had reams of video footage and a confession they might, but never on allegations.) His death changed everything. It’s sometimes like that.

    I must say this is the oddest part of the conspiracy theory ‘do you trust the authorities*’ argument: if nothing, the establishment seems to have wanted to keep this quiet, but SMFS, IanB, JuliaM etc don’t seem very exercised by that (if I’ve missed that, sorry).

    *the obvious answer being sometimes yes, other times not really, I try to work out what their angle might be; but I trust them more than people on the internet who spend their lives playing computer games and banging on about false rape arrests.

  58. Yes, Stigler, except that people did come forward. We also don’t know how many wanted to but were scared, embarrassed, advised against by parents or whatever. I assume he chose his victims carefully.

    It’s not at all unusual for kids in schools or church groups to put up with it and only come forwards years later. This happened at my prep school, and my brother in law’s (though not to either of us); all the kids knew what was happening but no-one told. In my brother in law’s case, three teachers were arrested anyone hanged himself; in mine, it all came out after one of the priests (a very well respected guy called Fr Kit Cunningham) confessed. But there was a lot more to it than just him.

    Like I say, I was never abused – just flogged a bit, mostly when I deserved it – and I’m no paedo hunter or apologist for fake rape victims or prude or shill for ‘the authorities'; I know nutters make stuff up, and I understand that Savile may be being traduced, to an extent, and that we will never know the full truth (nor would we had it gone to court). But I think he’s getting off lightly, compared to what would have happened had he been tried and convicted.

    I just don’t like the insistence by some that it’s all bollocks, the cops are all bent, the people are all lying, or – frankly – that it’s ok to put your hand up a girl’s skirt because she’s a few days off 16 and didn’t complain about it at the time.

  59. UK Liberty

    ‘Allegations are evidence. If I say, “I saw Max steal a car,” that is evidence. Yes, my evidence must be tested.’

    No – ‘Max has stolen a car’ is the allegation, ‘I saw him do it’ is evidence.

  60. @Stigler ‘ if you think that a few days makes a difference then you might as well believe in pussy trolls).’

    Leaving aside that I don’t know what pussy trolls are, of course a few days makes a difference. It’s called the rule of law.

    Though in a sense you’re right, in that it would be wrong if it happened to a woman of 26 too (or a man of 45). Not something I would personally call the police over, but if a 60 year old wants to put either of my daughters’ hands on his crotch without their consent I can assure you he will be spending quality time with his dentist.

  61. Interested,

    Leaving aside that I don’t know what pussy trolls are, of course a few days makes a difference. It’s called the rule of law.

    I’m not interested in “the rule of law”. Less than 50 years ago, the rule of law in the southern states of the US said that black people couldn’t marry white people and less than that 30 years ago, in the UK that married men couldn’t bugger their wives. The rule of law frequently has no basis in morality or science.

    So, except for the law, what are the moral implications of a man trying it on with a girl 2 years before she’s legal?

  62. Yes Max, SE covered that.

    [Ms A said] She was then pushed down onto the bed, ending up on her back; [Savile] was lying next to her and started to touch her breasts over her clothes. He asked if she was on the pill and she replied “no, I don’t do that sort of thing”. He then called her something like a “little dolly bird” and took hold of one of her hands and placed it on his groin. His penis was erect; he moved her hand up and down until she pulled her hand away.

    Is that evidence or not? People keep saying there is little evidence or no evidence. But that is an excerpt of someone’s account and there are other accounts. So if that is evidence then there is evidence.

  63. @The Stigler ‘I’m not interested in “the rule of law”… The rule of law frequently has no basis in morality or science.’

    That way lies either tyranny or anarchy, I’m afraid.

    There’s a very old legal aphorism that hard cases make bad law. Applied here, because marital buggery was once disallowed, ludicrously, that does not mean you get to ignore all law*.

    What you have to do is lobby to change the law.

    Otherwise, where would we be? Ruled by you, or Richard Murphy, or me, or by no-one? I wouldn’t like any of those alternatives.

    ‘So, except for the law, what are the moral implications of a man trying it on with a girl 2 years before she’s legal?’

    There is no ‘except for the law’, other than ‘whatever I/the biggest guy in town want(s)’.

    *Obviously, 30 years ago, you were free to go outside the law and bugger your wife (assuming she agreed), just as I am free to chin any old guy who assaults my daughters. But I then have to take the consequences of the law if I am nicked for it.

  64. UKLiberty

    ‘Is that evidence or not?’

    Of what?

    If Ms A was under age at the time then the accusation is (presumably) child abuse or similar. Her account would presumably be given in evidence in court.

    If she was over 16 then I’m not sure what allegation this supports.

  65. ukliberty,

    The CPS report deals with four complaints made in 2007/08 – before that TV programme?

    We’re both wrong. It was three complaints (I got confused), one of which involved an accusation of something that wasn’t made a crime until 2004.

  66. @Monty – you may not have felt the need to report your attacker, having thrashed them soundly – but there is an argument (especially as it appears you had no reason to suspect him previously with your group all going to his house), that reporting him would have acted as deterrent against him trying it on with anyone else by at least making him known to the authorities/other people

  67. Interested,

    That way lies either tyranny or anarchy, I’m afraid.

    Well, as we don’t prosecute or investigate the 1/3rd of people who have sex when under 16, which is it?

    There’s a very old legal aphorism that hard cases make bad law. Applied here, because marital buggery was once disallowed, ludicrously, that does not mean you get to ignore all law*.

    No, but it does mean that trying to equate the law with protecting people’s rights is entirely bogus as the two are not always the same thing.

    Otherwise, where would we be? Ruled by you, or Richard Murphy, or me, or by no-one? I wouldn’t like any of those alternatives.

    I’m not saying that at all. Firstly, I’m saying two things: firstly that the age of consent as a hard and fast rule is as ludicrous as a hard and fast rule for speed limits. But more significantly, I have a problem with people making a moral judgement of Jimmy Savile as a dangerous pedophile, simply because he broke the law, when we all know that the law in question is arbitrary.

    I just don’t like the insistence by some that it’s all bollocks, the cops are all bent, the people are all lying, or – frankly – that it’s ok to put your hand up a girl’s skirt because she’s a few days off 16 and didn’t complain about it at the time.

    Why (morally speaking) is it OK to put your hand up a girl’s skirt who is 16 and not at 15 years and 363 days?

    Forget the law: what part of you is disgusted by a man putting his hand up the skirt of a 15 year 363 year old day girl, but not disgusted by a man putting his hand up the skirt of a 16 year 1 day old girl?

  68. @Stigler

    ‘Well, as we don’t prosecute or investigate the 1/3rd of people who have sex when under 16, which is it? … Why (morally speaking) is it OK to put your hand up a girl’s skirt who is 16 and not at 15 years and 363 days?’

    Morally speaking, I can see the argument that there’s not much difference (though, as a 45 year old, I would find it creepy if another man of my age was sexually involved with a 16 year old – this is a purely personal prejudice, I accept).

    But this leads to reductio ad absurdum; I assume you would draw a line, so where do you draw it?

    Why would (for instance) 15 years old be ok, but not 14.364? Or 14 ok, but not 13.364?

    And the law does attempt to recognise this difficulty.

    If a girl is under 13 then there is no defence. If she is 13 or over, then there is a defence, for men under 24, who have never been charged with having underage sex before, and genuinely believed (a jury matter probably) that the girl was over 16.

    I think most people would see a difference between a 15 year old boy undoing a 15 year old girl’s bra, or even having sexual intercourse with her, and a 60 year old doing so (or even a 20 year old) – even if it is quite hard to articulate.

    And lo and behold, the law has some sense in it here, too; two 15 year olds (it is the two of them, it’s illegal for her too) are most unlikely to be prosecuted (which perhaps helps to answer your first question?).

    ‘that the age of consent as a hard and fast rule is as ludicrous as a hard and fast rule for speed limits’

    I think a speed limit is perfectly sensible. I accept road conditions/better tyres and brakes/higher skills may mean 70mph is outdated on motorways, but I don’t think that means no limit at all follows logically.

    Likewise, as society changes, the age of consent may change (I’m happy with 16 myself), but we need some sort of objective limit, in my opinion, and below that, with the above caveats, the law should step in.

  69. ukliberty@84

    Here’s the point I’m trying (badly) to make:

    – assume it was me that has been accused of indecent assault 40 years ago.

    – a woman in her 60s walks into a police station and gives the statement that Ms A gives. (I’m presuming here that Ms A entered the room voluntarily, and that when she told him to stop, he did, and left)

    – there is no corroborating independent evidence or witnesses

    – The police turn up at my house, arrest me on suspicion of sexual assault etc. Provide a report to the press saying I’m an offender

    – My life is now ruined

    – I say, I can’t remember exactly what happened, but as I never saw her again then…

    What is evidence here?

  70. Max, in essence I don’t think you arguing about what is or isn’t ‘evidence’, but rather what should or should not be done when such a complaint is made; i.e. that the complaint won’t go further if outside a time limit and/or without corroboration; further that the police shouldn’t report it to the press. Is that right?

  71. Interested – “OK, so we have all you nutjobs excoriating ‘the authorities’, and questioning the disinterestedness of the police, because they have no evidence that Savile was a sick bastard.”

    Sorry but where have I excoriated the authorities or questioned the disinterestedness of the police? Although the police do show one depressing feature of modern Britain – once you cave into the Politically Correct, they don’t let you go, they simply demand you cave in some more.

    “1. You have no evidence, at all, that the police are *not* disinterested investigators of historic sex offences. If you have, please show it. (Note: ‘It’s all to placate the feminazis’ is not evidence.)”

    It is about as strong evidence as much else mentioned in this thread. We have plenty of evidence the police are not disinterested investigators of sex offences. Look at the Satanic Abuse scandals of the 1980s. Look at the hysteria over the Jersey orphanage.

    “Except for all those hundreds of people who have made statements saying that Savile was a sick bastard, to them.”

    But there are only hundreds. Savile was a creepy weirdo with lots of money. Just the sort of person who would attract the mentally ill with an interest in compensation. What looks unusual here is how *few* actual serious claims there are. Two hundred people claiming he put a hand in the wrong place, but only three dozen or so claiming rape. You will probably get that many claiming Prince Phillip raped them once he pops his clogs.

    “In your slightly deranged mind, I guess these are other people – the vast, conspiratorial ‘they’, who just make stuff up for kicks, and the cops just believe them?”

    No, that would be in your slightly deranged mind. In my perfectly sane, albeit world weary and sad mind, I know people make all sorts of allegations all the time. Some of which are true. Many of which are not. People do make stuff up you know. Often.

    “‘Proof’-wise, here’s a hint, chief: if it *had* gone to court, with historic allegations like that (no DNA etc), that’s *still* all you’d have. Savile would say he was innocent and a jury would decide. If they found him guilty, would they then be part of the vast hysteria?”

    Depends on the massive media campaign beforehand. If there was a media beatup of hysterical nature, then he would be convicted in light of said hysteria – and remember, as someone else pointed out, the media is claiming he is worse than Fred West. That is hysterical in both senses.

    The point is he was not convicted. He was not even charged. The police repeatedly looked at the evidence, at the time, and decided there was no basis for a prosecution. What has changed now? Well he is dead and so there is the option of compensation without a trial and there is a massive hysterical media campaign. What else?

    “That’s weird. Because I thought you were all *against* people making allegations of historic sex abuse with no evidence? Unless, of course, you *do* have evidence for this, in which case I suggest you trot along to your nearest cop shop and tell them what you know.”

    I don’t think this is a secret – and Jimmy Page has written about it. As I said, the police are obviously not interested in prosecuting those in good odour with the authorities. I am not against people making allegations per se. I am against a media witch hunt.

    Savile probably was guilty of some of the things he was alleged to have done. He probably did sleep with a few under-age groupies. So did everyone else. The rest? Not so sure. All in all, it looks like a total beat up to me because the guy was just a little weird.

  72. Interested,

    Likewise, as society changes, the age of consent may change (I’m happy with 16 myself), but we need some sort of objective limit, in my opinion, and below that, with the above caveats, the law should step in.

    I’m not sure we have much choice, but I find it a crude measure in the same way that speed limits are (no account taken of traffic conditions, weather, light etc).

  73. but I find it a crude measure

    Well, yes. That’s the law for you. A large club (or similar blunt object), pretending to be a sabre, wielded by somebody who thinks it is a rapier, to do the job that any rational individual would use a scalpel for.

  74. ukliberty

    No, I’m not arguing that. I’m trying (obviously not very well) to say:

    – a complaint by someone that ‘x’ happened is not actually evidence that it did, which I think is what you inferred.

    – taking a statement by Ms A that ‘x’ happened 40 years ago as evidence when the accused is dead should be accompanied by a caveat from the police.

    – the police and NSPCC et al have decided Savile is a serial sex offender and published that as a fact. I’m sure that is true, however I thought that deciding when crimes were committed was a matter for the courts.

    I repeat – what if it was you?

  75. The point is he was not convicted. He was not even charged. The police repeatedly looked at the evidence, at the time, and decided there was no basis for a prosecution. What has changed now? Well he is dead and so there is the option of compensation without a trial and there is a massive hysterical media campaign. What else?

    What else… that the decision not to prosecute may have been incorrect? So we investigate and apparently conclude that the decision was incorrect.

    From what they now say, it appears that both Ms A and Ms C might have been prepared to give evidence had they received more information and appropriate reassurance.

    You see, there was a policy that no victim should be informed at any point that there were others who had made similar allegations. After the person made her statement, and she says she’s unwilling to give evidence in court if she’s the only one, they could have said, “actually, you’re not the only one. Other people have made allegations against this individual. Would you be prepared to give evidence if you are not alone in doing so?”

    She might reply “yes,” and they could have done something from there.

    rather than merely identifying evidential obstacles, prosecutors should work with the police to “build” the case, by seeing for example whether the victim could be reassured to the extent that he or she might be prepared to give evidence, or by giving consideration to whether there is any way in which the evidence could be added to or improved so that his or her attendance would be unnecessary.

  76. Max,

    ukliberty

    No, I’m not arguing that. I’m trying (obviously not very well) to say:

    – a complaint by someone that ‘x’ happened is not actually evidence that it did, which I think is what you inferred.

    IIUC, it’s evidence in the sense of the legal definition of the word ;evidence’. In your view it isn’t evidence. OK. I get it.

    - taking a statement by Ms A that ‘x’ happened 40 years ago as evidence when the accused is dead should be accompanied by a caveat from the police.

    – the police and NSPCC et al have decided Savile is a serial sex offender and published that as a fact. I’m sure that is true, however I thought that deciding when crimes were committed was a matter for the courts.

    I wrote upthread, @46, “I am uncomfortable with the idea of an officer saying, “[dead person] was a [criminal]” if it hasn’t been proved in court, as well as inventing what went through the person’s mind. “

    I repeat – what if it was you?

    If I was alive, I’d mind.

  77. ukliberty – “What else… that the decision not to prosecute may have been incorrect? So we investigate and apparently conclude that the decision was incorrect.”

    The decisions – plural – may. The police had many opportunities to charge Savile. The investigated many times. They declined to do so many times based on a lack of evidence. That “apparently” is a nice touch. Would they have any more chance of a conviction now if Savile was still alive? I doubt it. But he is dead and we are in the midst of a hysterical media campaign.

    “You see, there was a policy that no victim should be informed at any point that there were others who had made similar allegations”

    And why is this a bad thing? We don’t even tell juries (or we didn’t) about pass convictions. For obvious reasons. Why should we tell anyone about past complaints?

    “rather than merely identifying evidential obstacles, prosecutors should work with the police to “build” the case, by seeing for example whether the victim could be reassured to the extent that he or she might be prepared to give evidence, or by giving consideration to whether there is any way in which the evidence could be added to or improved so that his or her attendance would be unnecessary.”

    Am I the only one who sees a real civil liberties issue with this? Someone has to act as a quality check on police prosecutions. Someone has to decide if the police have a case or not. No one has more contempt for the spinelessness of the Prosecutors than I do, but even I don’t think it is their job to help the police build a case, or to try to circumvent the basic legal protections people have in this country. One of which is the right to confront your accuser in a court of law.

  78. The police had many opportunities to charge Savile. The investigated many times. They declined to do so many times based on a lack of evidence

    In the CPS report, not a lack of evidence, but the unwillingness of the alleged victims to give evidence.

    “You see, there was a policy that no victim should be informed at any point that there were others who had made similar allegations”

    And why is this a bad thing?

    Because some victims are unwilling to testify if they believe they will be alone in doing so, as the previous quote implies:

    From what they now say, it appears that both Ms A and Ms C might have been prepared to give evidence had they received more information and appropriate reassurance.

    Am I the only one who sees a real civil liberties issue with this? Someone has to act as a quality check on police prosecutions. Someone has to decide if the police have a case or not. No one has more contempt for the spinelessness of the Prosecutors than I do, but even I don’t think it is their job to help the police build a case, or to try to circumvent the basic legal protections people have in this country. One of which is the right to confront your accuser in a court of law

    That particular example alludes to an alleged victim being under 16, she doesn’t have to give evidence herself, in particular about consent, because under 16s cannot consent. There would need to be evidence she was under 16 at the time. The prosecution would also need one or more witnesses to the indecent assault. Their evidence would be tested by the court.

  79. ITBoy // Jan 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm
    ———-

    Yes, your point is well made.
    But I was far more concerned with my own family at the time. I was worried about my parents finding out what had really happened, because I feared that my Dad might well do something extra-judicial to my attacker. I didn’t want my Dad getting into trouble over a scumbag. I wasn’t prepared to be typecast by lawyers either as a helpless hopeless victim, or a minx.

    As it was, they never found out that I was covered in huge black bruises on my body. There were no marks on my face.

    My attacker sustained a broken nose, multiple bites, lost some teeth, may have cracked either a rib or his collar bone, first degree burns on his face and body, not to mention his smouldering armchair, carpet, and the china cabinet that we had toppled right over in the struggle. The room was full of broken glass, broken chinaware, and smoke.

    And as my friends and I hurried away from that house, we left him in no doubt that there were now three of us on his bloody case, three witnesses. And we left him guessing about whether we would go to the police.

    I reckoned I had done enough, at the time, to curtail his career. My only regret is that my friends stopped me from bashing him over the head with that lead crystal vase.

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