Prior to being a Counter Terrorism Detective with the Metropolitan Police Service, I served as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Greater Manchester Police. By the very nature of the training, police detectives deal with all aspects of serious crime investigation – from the interviewing of those accused of the most serious crimes, to preparing the prosecution files to naturally dealing with the needs of the victim and any witnesses.
In the CID, my workload often included rape and serious sexual offences.
I have no doubt that my attitude towards women, children and male rape victims allowed me to not only offer them the best service I could – but, strive to bring those offenders to justice within the law.
I never comment on sexual cases in the public domain, for many reasons. I’m of the view that ultimately we have to be guided by the courts, as it is the best system we have. I am however aware probably more than most having dealt with serious crime investigation, that many victims do not get justice for the offences committed against them. Not because they haven’t told the truth, but it is a question of what can and cannot be proved in court.
I say the above in the context of the awful rape conviction rates, which I know is not on the part of the victims.
So, today’s court result involving Max Clifford – a Public Relations man by trade – is significant in many ways.
He has been found guilty of eight charges of indecent assault against women and girls, as young as 15.
I’m not commenting on him as an individual, as it is now for the court to hand-down its punishment.
But, the very nature of the guilty charges found against him will no doubt send out a clear message to others and more so the victims of sexual crimes that sometimes it doesn’t matter how long the road to justice may be – you can get there, and I still believe that we have one of the best ways in the world to get there.
Take care, Max.