Are police doing enough to help victims of online abuse?
A feminist campaigner who was bombarded with rape and death threats on Twitter believes police are failing to show sensitivity to victims.
Caroline Crido-Perez was subjected to a high number of abuse after campaigning for banknotes to feature notable female historical figures, not just men. When dealing with police she claims that they lost evidence she sent to them and had to go back through the abuse to re-send it.
Ms Crida-Perez found it “appalling” that police required her to go back through the abusive messages “because of their incompetence”.
“It just shows such insensitivity to someone who’s been through so much, I can’t believe it,” she said. “I’ve spent the afternoon crying just from the sheer awfulness of it. Every time I have to go through it it’s reliving it all over again.”
She is accusing Scotland Yard investigators of failing to understand how to treat victims of online abuse. She is also questioning why only three people had been arrested in connection with her case so fare when there was a much larger number involved.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are urgently trying to contact the complainant so we can discuss with her the issues that she is raising on social network sites, to once again explain our approach and tactics in this investigation to provide both answers for her and clarity.
“A huge amount of evidence, including hundreds of tweets, has been captured by officers and thoroughly examined. This has been a complex and large investigation that has involved the examination of hundreds of messages sent on Twitter. A number of people have so far been arrested in connection with the complaint, and remain on bail. We are mindful of the truly hurtful and distressing impact that receiving such communication can have, however we must be sure to focus our efforts on the things that we and the CPS believe is a crime and can be prosecuted.”
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