Commissioner to meet South Yorkshire police chiefs after rape victim was ‘badly let down’

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Alan Billings.
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Alan Billings.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings is to meet senior police officers following a damning investigation which found that a rape victim was ‘badly let down’ by South Yorkshire Police.

Dr Billings has requested a meeting with police chiefs after the Independent Police Complaints Commission published its findings of an investigation into allegations that police officers failed to act on a woman’s allegations that she had been raped, attacked and threatened by an ex.

The police watchdog said the woman, now 40 and from Sheffield, had been ‘badly let down by the force’.

It found no evidence of her allegations, made in the mid 1990s, being recorded or investigated.

The watchdog said the service the woman received from South Yorkshire Police ‘did not reach the standard a reasonable person would expect’ during the year of abuse she suffered.

Commissioner Billings said: “I am considering the full IPCC report and have asked for a meeting with senior officers to discuss how this happened.

“I will also be asking what processes have changed to ensure that a victim would not get this response now.”

South Yorkshire Police has apologised to the victim, who is planning to sue.

The IPCC said the lack of police records had made it impossible to identify officers who had any involvement.

Detective Superintendent Terry Mann, from South Yorkshire Police’s professional standards department, said: “The way we respond to incidents of this nature now is much different to 20 years ago.

“We take these reports incredibly seriously, providing a multi-agency response that provides support and reassurance to the victim while an investigation is carried out.”