Friday, 27 March 2009

Rape and Stalking

Another high profile case of rape and stalking has hit the head lines. Kirk Reid has committed over seventy serious sexual offences since 2001. Forty-four year old Reid is described as an intelligent man with a string of pretty girlfriends. He worked as a chef and part-time football referee for Wandsworth leagues for children. In court he confessed to wanting ‘to hurt people in horrible ways’. Reid stoked his violent fantasies by watching videos of women being raped and abused. He followed his victims stealthily from behind then grabbed them when they were near their homes and had let their guard down. His crimes are terrible and inexcusable. The frightening aspect of this case however, is that it took the police years to arrest him, despite having his DNA. The reports on this case suggest a catalogue of police failings. Car crime was regarded as a higher priority than sexual offences against women. This is a terrible indictment of the Metropolitan police force, especially as they also took ages to catch the black cab rapist John Warboys. The police and these sex offenders are equally guilty of bad behaviour. What message are the police sending if car crime has a higher priority than sex crime? Car owners are inconvenienced by the loss of a car, but can soon get over it. Victims of sex crimes are left emotionally scarred and have to struggle to rebuild their lives. Are cars more valued in society than women? Is the police force institutionally sexist?

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