South Yorkshire police have been slammed in another independent report for consistently downplaying and failing to record the horrific plight of a woman who was raped, stalked, threatened and beaten until her skull was fractured by her Muslim boyfriend.
The unnamed woman – a non-Muslim – urged the police to “spend less time making excuses, and more time actually doing their job” to protect vulnerable women. The senior commissioner leading the investigation said yesterday that she was “let down badly” in the 1990s.
The offences took place between 1995 and 1996, just before the industrial scale rape and grooming of 1,400 under age girls in the town of Rotherham, which happened between 1997 and 2002.
South Yorkshire Police were criticised in a separate report for failing to help the girls, because of a “culture of fear” around accusations of racism.
The woman says she reported the abuse to the police many times in that period, but nothing was done. They even persuaded her not to make a criminal complaint after her skull was fractured.
She took the case to the IPCC in 2014. They found that her claims to have reported the crimes were corroborated by witnesses, but the police had failed to record them, such that no officer can now be identified and held to account.
After the watchdog ruled in her favour, the woman said in a statement: “I made this complaint about South Yorkshire Police not only for myself, but also for other girls in South Yorkshire who were in similar situations as me. You can only watch injustice go on for so long until you feel compelled to say something.
“My Pakistani ex-boyfriend told me he beat me and raped me because I was white, and I didn’t behave like a Muslim woman.
“I reported his abuse, stalking and threats to the police five times, but they said that if I didn’t have bruises, there was nothing they could do. Even when an honour attack led to my fractured skull, the police didn’t investigate, and they dissuaded me from making a statement.
“I expected him to go to prison for his crimes, but he was always allowed to get away with it.
“I still don’t know why South Yorkshire Police let so many girls down so badly, but they did, and we have suffered a lot. Living in fear, with scars and constant reminders of what they did to us.
“I am very grateful to the IPCC for thoroughly investigating my complaint about the way my case was handled.
“In the future I hope that the police take violent sexual crimes, stalking, and honour attacks more seriously. If the police spent less time making excuses, and more time actually doing their job, the world would be a safer place.”
The report explains how the boyfriend spied on her, threatened to mutilate her and kill her relatives. Sections 10 and 11 read:
“She had told officers how Mr. B had beaten her on at least 30 occasion including strangling her, hitting her over the head, suffocating her with his hands and pillows, pulling her hair, knocking her to the ground and holding her face in a sink full of water.
“She informed officer that Mr. B would quote religious texts and compare her dress and behaviors to that of women of his own faith.
“Mr. B had raped her on several occasions and made threat to kill her parents if she tried to end their relationship.”
Associate IPCC Commissioner, Tom Milsom, told The Yorkshire Post: “This woman reported very serious offences to South Yorkshire Police. Her complaints should have been recorded as reported crimes by the force – there is no evidence they were.
“They should have been investigated thoroughly – again there is no evidence they were.
“The lack of records means we have no individual officers to investigate, but it is evident the service provided by South Yorkshire Police did not meet the standard a reasonable person would expect.
“She was let down badly and I welcome the apology from South Yorkshire Police.”