"Rape Victims Are Having Their Justice Limited": London Victims' Commissioner

31 July 2019, 15:42 | Updated: 31 July 2019, 15:56

The London Victims' Commissioner tells Shelagh Fogarty how rape victims are lacking legal representation and calls for independent legal support to be provided.

Speaking to LBC presenter Shelagh Fogarty, the Victims' Commissioner Claire Waxman explained that rules around police access to personal data of rape victims should adhere to a "reasonable and proportionate line of enquiry" but that she believes these rules aren't necessarily being followed.

"Too many are having their phones requested and material that is not reasonable or proportionate," she said.

Ms Waxman spoke of one case where all material from the victim's phone had been downloaded without their knowledge.

She explained: "The defence used a photo of her smiling on the day of the attack and messages between her and her mother, none of which were actually relevant to the attack - the photo was actually several hours before the attack.

"Nobody stood up in court and countered that, she had no right to represent it, to put it into context or respond to it, and it really did affect the jurors."

When Shelagh asked why she had no right to respond, Ms Waxman said victims do not officially have legal representation

"No, that's where there is an imbalance of right - It's the state vs the defendant so that material often sits there in court and doesn't get argued properly.

She continued: "That's why i'm pushing for legal representation because if we're going to be scrutinising rape victims in this way, looking at their accounting records, their personal records, things that often are outside reasonable and proportionate lines of enquiry, then victims absolutely should have access to independent legal support to help them navigate that."

Watch above.

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

Ex-prisoner: Raab 'absolutely right' on using prisoners to plug labour shortages

Ex-offender: Raab 'absolutely right' on using prisoners to plug labour shortages

Government 'all over the shop' on mask-wearing, says Shadow Health Secretary

Government 'all over the shop' on mask-wearing, says Shadow Health Secretary

'It's horrific déjà vu': Ex-nurse 'terrified' at lack of Covid restrictions as cases rise

Ex-NHS staff nurse 'terrified' and 'sad' as Covid cases rise

UK faces 8,000 Covid deaths before Christmas if govt don't act, epidemiologist warns

UK faces 8,000 Covid deaths before Christmas if govt don't act, epidemiologist warns

'It's unthinkable': Iain Dale reacts to Sir David Amess' murder

'It's unthinkable': Iain Dale reacts to Sir David Amess' death

Poorer areas could see 'even larger' council tax increases than projections, says IFS Director

Poorer areas could see 'even larger' council tax increases than projected, says IFS Director

Shelagh Fogarty condemns Javid's 'insulting' and 'leaden' social care comment

Shelagh Fogarty condemns Sajid Javid's 'insulting' and 'leaden' social care comment

'There has been a failing here': Met has 'very serious questions to answer', Safeguarding minister says

Met has 'very serious questions to answer' over Everard case, says minister

Exclusive
Caller defends eco-mob blocking woman visiting mother in hospital

Caller defends eco-mob blocking woman visiting mother in hospital

'We're looking at an institutional problem and talking about it like it's one bad apple'

'Utterly rotten' Met must be 'investigated' after Couzens' sentence, activist tells LBC

'When do we say this is enough?': Women's activist questions Cressida Dick's competence

'When do we say this is enough?': Women's activist questions Cressida Dick's competence

Hariett Harman tells LBC why she wants Cressida Dick to resign

Harriet Harman tells LBC why she wants Cressida Dick to resign

'We don't tolerate the Yorkshire ripper, but we tolerate lesser offences': Shelagh Fogarty condemns tolerance of male violence

'We tolerate lesser offending by men before they go on to murder girls and women'

'Hammer out a plan': Ashworth's message for Javid as key workers struggle for fuel

'Hammer out a plan': Ashworth's message for Javid as key workers struggle for fuel

UK 'subservient to US thinking' on Afghanistan withdrawal, says Defence Select Committee Chair

UK 'subservient to US thinking' on Afghanistan withdrawal, says Tobias Ellwood

'All we've done is replaced the Taliban with the Taliban': caller clashes with Shelagh Fogarty

'All we've done is replaced the Taliban with the Taliban': caller clashes with Shelagh Fogarty