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Why women fear the police A locker-room culture has long been pervasive among officers in the force

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)


March 24, 2021   7 mins

How many women did John Worboys rape and attack in the back of his cab? We will probably never know. Easily one hundred; more probably several hundred. One victim’s lawyer believes the number could be as many as 400. Thanks to a catalogue of police failures, he was able to get away with it for years.

From as far back as 2002, victims described being attacked in the back of his vehicle. Yet nothing was done until 2007, when he was arrested, questioned, and released without charge. His victim, a 19-year old, has described how the police laughed at her when she told them about her injuries. It was the same story for all those other women who had flagged down Worboys’ cab after a night out assuming they’d be safe in his black cab. Investigating officers generally presumed the women were drunk, incapable and unreliable. The victims were blamed and the cabbie allowed to drive on.

Shocking new light on this cascade of police failures is laid out in Predator: Catching The Black Cab Rapist, a Channel 5 documentary airing tonight. Among other grim revelations, is the recording of a police interview with Worboys following that complaint in 2007. Officers can be heard bantering with the cab driver rather than interrogating him. Laughing and joking with him, they appear to be helping him construct a defence to the woman’s allegations of drug-assisted rape. One even says: “I thought maybe she’s sort of come a bit undone at the front when you was helping her 
”

In turn, the victim, during her questioning, was made to feel like she “deserved it”.

It was only the following year, after a pattern was finally noticed amid all these reports, that Worboys was properly interrogated and, at last, charged with several assaults. Then, in March 2009, Worboys was convicted of one count of rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges. He had pleaded not guilty, and still shows no remorse for his crimes.

The civil case against the Metropolitan Police brought by two of Worboys victims found that there were “serious operational failures” during the investigation. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report into the investigation was a critical opportunity to bring about change in police culture. But all that was recommended in terms of sanctions were “words of warning” for some officers.

It’s an appalling example of poor policing. But you would have thought, wouldn’t you, that 12 years after Worboys was finally convicted, the force might have got their house in order? Sadly, I think that, if anything, things have got worse. The police have a consistently pitiful record when it comes to dealing with violence towards women, and their excessive reaction to the Sarah Everard protests the other weekend does little to dispel the feeling that perhaps they are part of the problem.

Between 2012 and 2018 across England and Wales, almost 1,500 complaints were filed against police officers, special constables and police community support officers (PCSOs) across 33 forces involving accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, exploitation of crime victims and child abuse. These officers and special constables, remember, do swear an oath to “cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people
”

Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 individuals. One case involved a Devon and Cornwall officer, who was sacked following accusations that he attended a victim’s address, stripped off uninvited, and joined her in the shower.

Another is that of Peter Bunyan, a PSCO based in Penzance, who was convicted of three rapes and one count of sexual assault against two victims in 2016 and jailed for 16 years. Bunyan had previously spent time in prison after being convicted of having sex with domestic violence victims and a woman with mental health difficulties while on duty.

In data published in the Observer, figures from the Royal College of Policing’s current “barred list” – officers who have been dismissed from a force and are banned from joining another – show that nearly a fifth of offences inlude abuse of position for sexual purposes, domestic violence or harassment against the public and colleagues. Of the 555 officers barred since the list was introduced in December 2017, more than 1,100 reasons for dismissal are listed of which more than 200 involve sexual, harassment or domestic abuse offences.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in 2019 show that police officers are seven times more likely than doctors or teachers to be dismissed for sexual misconduct. Now this is, admittedly, a small percentage of the service — but this is only the visible part. Police action lawyers will tell you that vulnerable victims rarely follow through on a complaint against a police officer, and rarer still that such complaints are held up by the courts.

I have interviewed several women over the years who have reported being asked out on dates, or just blatantly for sex, by the police they have called out to a domestic violence or rape complaint. I have also heard far too many stories from women in prostitution about police sexually assaulting them during an arrest, or asking for “sexual favours” in return for letting them go free. And I will never forget observing a rape trial and overhearing the police officers in the case joking outside the court about the “sexual positions” the victim must have enjoyed during the attack. Last week, one young officer shared an internet joke of a similar ilk with his colleagues, as the search for Sarah Everard’s body continued.

Not long after a serving police officer was charged with Sarah’s murder, Oliver Banfield, a probationary police officer based in the West Midlands was given a non-custodial sentence and ordered to pay just ÂŁ500 compensation having been found guilty of a violent assault on a woman walking home following a night out.

Banfield was seen on CCTV shouting “slag” at Homer as he wrestled her to the ground using police training techniques. Homer, who suffers depression and panic attacks as a result of the attack says it was though Banfield was “fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy”.

The attack took place in July 2020 but Banfield was allowed to continue to work as a police officer until he was sentenced. Police took eight weeks to follow up on the report about one of their own colleagues and to visit the scene of the crime. It was left to the victim to persevere with her request to have access to the CCTV footage which police had failed to do. As Homer commented after the sentencing, “It was like I had reported a missing cat.”

And, so, public confidence in the police when it comes to sexual and domestic abuse is at an all-time low. Women just don’t trust them. Earlier this month, the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) lodged a super-complaint to the Police Inspectorate highlighting systemic failures women are experiencing when reporting domestic abuse perpetrated by police officers. Officers, it is alleged, manipulate the system and act in bad faith.

This tendency is underlined by Nogah Ofer from CWJ, who describes the prevalence of certain behaviours within the Service as springing from a “locker-room culture” in which violence against women is trivialised and loyalty towards fellow officers and concern about impact on their careers are paramount. The Centre has been contacted, for example, by almost 50 women who say they have been seriously betrayed by those tasked with protecting them when they reported domestic abuse and sexual offences committed by police officers and staff. These cases are currently being investigated by the same police force that employs the accused officer.

The rape conviction rate, meanwhile, is stuck at an all time low. It might as well — and I am beginning to sound like a stuck record now — be decriminalised. In an attempt to correct this, in 2018, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick announced that the police had decided to abandon its policy of automatically believing those who report sexual assault.

The “I believe you” policy had been introduced in 2011 in response to low conviction rates. It was a simple way to reassure victims that they would not be automatically accused of lying — something which had been exposed in the 1982 film A complaint of rape. This fly-on-the-wall documentary by Roger Graef film featured a woman with a history of psychiatric illness being bullied and cajoled by a bunch of male officers as she tried to report a rape. They dismissed her story as “the biggest bollocks” they had ever heard. The screening of the film triggered a change in British law and a more sensitive approach to rape cases.

However, three years ago, Dick dismantled that in favour of the “open mind” approach. It was in response to a series of high-profile failed cases, including the Carl Beech fraud. But Dick also said at the time: “If [the allegation] is a long time ago, or it’s very trivial, or I’m not likely to get a criminal justice outcome, I’m not going to spend a lot of resources on it.”

In other words, this pretty much gave police licence to disregard those cases in which a woman may have been previously sexually active with the accused, or had been drinking, or had dared to dress as she wished. Naturally, it had little effect on the conviction rate. It just shifted the blame back on to the victims.

But as a shadow report on rape compiled by a number of leading women’s organisations found last year, to address that extremely low rate, no new laws or policy are necessary, rather police officers need to up their game under the existing framework. It was a lack of training, persistent sexist attitudes from officers, and a failure to hold police accountable which led to those endless blunders in relation to Worboys and similar cases, not the law as it stands. And this still hasn’t been addressed.

Right now, as this shocking documentary airs, it feels like things are getting worse for women. The CWJ is contacted by a constant stream of women who report drug-assisted rapes, which never progress to the “risk averse” CPS. Calls to Refuge during lockdown have been up by an appalling 60%. And now our streets don’t even feel particularly safe, as all those women last weekend were protesting. The police are seen to be very much part of the problem.

Which leaves women in a pretty desperate position. Worboys may be set to spend a while yet in jail but there are many other predatory men out there getting away with it. And unless there is a radical shift in that locker-room culture, and accountability and how women are dealth with, those men will continue to feel as invincible as the black cab rapist


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

Right, just to get some clarity :
In September 2020 there were 132,467 police officers in England and Wales.
According to Julie, “between 2012 and 2018”, that’s 6 years, “almost 1,500 complaints were filed”, that is 250, on average per year, 371 were upheld, that is 60 on average per year.
This is evidence of less than 0.25% sexual misconduct among police officers. It would be better if there was none of course, but that is a tiny, tiny minority.

Why are people like Julie Bindel unfairly attacking our police force ?

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

*250 per year
Otherwise thanks for providing some clarity on the figures. It seems as though one of the biggest problems is the heightening of the sense of fear.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

oops, forgot my noughts, thank you.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

It is necessary to ensure that the members of the police force who behave as disgracefully as Ms Bindel cites be exposed and punished but as you say such cases are rare. She is also right to pressure the police where they fail to act against bad officers.

However, she always ignores those officers, overwhelmingly male, who risks their lives on a daily basis to protect women and men in danger.

She’s necessary. We need people to stab our complacency but she is unfair in her attacks on men.

S A
S A
3 years ago

I appreciate the point you are trying to make, but think about the output from the likes of Bindel and it’s impact.

She is part of the media who exist to inflate fear among the public, especially women. Living with an over active fear of the world is not going to be healthy for any one.

Imagine how you would regard someone who spent all their time telling everyone how they should be more scarred of traveling by bus? If they were useless at it you would see them as an annoying bore but if they started getting people genuinely worried you would start to see them as a negative force in society.

Rational criticism with specific ideas and an ability to argue in non-emotional terms is useful. Doom-mongering is not.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  S A

Why do women fear the police?
Well maybe, just maybe, it’s because of constant exposure to alarmist articles like these.
And by the way, do women fear the police? It’s a claim made in the article backed up by exactly zero facts. None of the women I know fears the police.
‘feels like things are getting worse’, ‘streets don’t feel particularly safe’, – not exactly forensic objectivity.
‘How many victims did Worboys have…we’ll probably never know’. The author then throws out ‘several hundred’ based on what exactly it’s not clear. He’s such an exceptional case he is national news and he’s getting locked up for a long time.
The few statistics Bindel has chosen to bother with were shown by Claire D to indicate in fact that 99.75% of police officers are entirely innocent of the behaviour that the article alleges to be some kind of institutional problem.
Why do women fear the police? Ms Bindel, maybe you need to look a bit closer to home.

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I’m afraid I contacted the police when my mobile phone was stolen. I probably shouldn’t have done so.

Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Julie Bindell and the left believe in divide and rule. Split society up into multiple victim & identity groups that can then be used for the left to take power. And, they are good at it.
At the moment they are trying to do the same with Asian Americans – the media is on a mission to build up a picture of widespread whites targeting Asians in racist attacks. They know Asians in the US are successful and well integrated, and they know this is not good for left wing politics – which relies on divide and rule.
The last thing the left wants is unity.

andrey.doronins
andrey.doronins
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

1500 / 6=250, not 25, or am I missing something obvious?

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

I know, I forgot my noughts but it’s been fixed now.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

“This is evidence of less than 0.25% sexual misconduct among police officers.”
I thought half the point of the article was the trivialisation or denial of rape and sexual misconduct among police officers, something I’ve personally witnessed among many men for many years, and not just in the UK.
 

hintonbenedict
hintonbenedict
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

This is utterly disingenuous. No one is saying that those who do suffer at the hands of the police should be ignored or their experiences trivialised, but clearly Bindel has vastly inflated her numbers has she not?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  hintonbenedict

“Easily one hundred; more probably several hundred.”
The police officer in charge of the case when Worboys was finally nabbed says he definitely raped or assaulted at least a hundred women. 
A recent survey suggests only 16% of women rape victims report it to the police. (Guardian, ONS survey reveals level of sexual harassment against women.)
And in these cases, women might well have had two more reasons not to. First, the drugs he administered caused near total loss of memory in all his known victims, so presumably many more may be unsure what if anything happened. And second, if they did remember or suspect something, with him in custody and a hundred cases already known to the police, would they necessarily want to add their names? He’s caught, he’s almost certainly going down, so how many would feel the need to?
So no, I’m afraid I don’t find the numbers likely to be inflated at all. A hundred appears to be the absolute minimum. Given his modus operandi, there are almost certainly more. And given the circumstances, most probably several hundred at least, as Bindel says.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  hintonbenedict

There has been a swerve here from the main point Julie Bindel was making. I think the attitude issues with ‘locker room culture’, laughing and joking about rape and sexual assault, for example, which are not crimes, obviously must reduce the confidence of women that their complaints will be taken seriously by them.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Neither is violent abusive rap music a crime.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Lloyd Byler

The issue is attitude.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Try googling “feminist criticism of rap music”.

hintonbenedict
hintonbenedict
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I just did and could find barely anything. Most of the articles and papers cited were at least ten years old. When was the last time you saw a high profile piece on this topic in UK media?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  hintonbenedict

It’s probably far from high-profile, but I was listening to something on BBC radio quite recently about women rappers countering some of the sexism and violence in lots of male rap/hip-hop and the culture it springs from. Perhaps the question shouldn’t be why aren’t feminists talking about these issues, but why are they given such a low profile.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

When were the last mass street protest against the violence and misogyny in rap music? When did feminists ever swarm rap musicians on the street and chant “Shame, shame” at them?
Police have always been convenient targets, because nobody attacking them risks being accused of the cardinal sin of being uncool.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

You are right that the numbers involved are very small. However, the outcomes on their victims are long-lasting.
I think that most jobs in which people wear a uniform will inevitably attract a few people who want the authority they think a uniform will give them. Most of those will not be sexual offenders but simply officious types who give their profession a bad name.

Simon Baseley
Simon Baseley
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

If the actual number of cases involving reported assaults by police officers follows the pattern which applies to the wider public, then the number of reported cases will only be a fraction of those that take place. 

hintonbenedict
hintonbenedict
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

How exactly can anyone prove the existence of unreported cases?

Dave M
Dave M
3 years ago
Reply to  hintonbenedict

There’s a whole industry devoted to it.

You might as well pluck a number out of thin air, maybe they already do

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave M

Exactly; it drives me crazy when feminists go on about all these assumed “unreported cases”. Theoretical, unprovable “unreported” crimes should not be anyone else’s concern if they’re not even considered important enough by the victim to report to the police. Sorry if that sounds insensitive, but that applies to all crimes, not just sexual assault. I realize that people who ae victims of crime have all kinds of reasons not to report. Sometimes these reasons are valid, sometimes not. But all that matters to the legal system – and thus to society at large – are the crimes that ARE reported, because once that happens, they are society’s problem to deal with. If you fail to report a crime, it’s nobody’s problem but your own.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago

why do we relegate this reporting to ‘feminists’?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baseley

Much the same was said of witches. Unless you’ve checked every woman living on her own with a cat for an additional nipple that she uses to suckle her familiar, how will you know how many witches there actually are?

Arild Brock
Arild Brock
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Probably not in order to improve the residual 0.25 % of the police force. But perhaps (unconsciously) in order to “cash in” on behalf of the female sex on any other issue where gender is involved? Guilt is to some extent collective and to some extent transferable from one issue to another, in particular regarding a collective that is deep and at the same time not properly recognized – exactly gender. 

John Jones
John Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Arild Brock

Guilt is never collective, according to the Geneva Convention, article 33, subsection 1.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  John Jones

Someone please tell the reparations crew over here in the US!

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  John Jones

Responsibility can be collective, and a culture of not taking sexual assaults seriously, out of concern for esprit de corps or whatever reason, shares some responsibility. Guilt is more of a moral or legal issue, of less relevance to women’s safety.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Maybe it’s just me but finding out that more than once a week in England and Wales a complaint against a police officer for sexual misconduct is upheld was a shock.

S A
S A
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Given the N for that stat is over 150k I would suggest that shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m guessing the standard applied is BOP not BRD.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

This context is crucial. Without it all we have are lies by omission.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Wasn’t this the position of the Catholic Church for a while. That it’s a few bad apples. What we learned over the decades was that it had nothing to do with theology but that sexual predators seek out roles and jobs that give them access to their victims and provide cover in terms of respectability, authority and an organisation that protects its own.. The Church had its omerta system in place and the police have theirs. and there were certainly lots of the faithful demanding to know why the people were unfairly accusing the parish priest (who must be good because he’s a priest). That was until the tsunami happened and we all found out the truth. So it’s not that that being a police officer makes you a sexual predator or abuser. But if you were a predator then being a police officer would be a fantastic position for you to be in and an attractive career.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

The numbers of children sexually abused by Catholic priests is infinitesimal compared to those sexually abused by teachers in government schools So I suppose you could say being a government school teacher would be a fantastic position and an attractive career for a predator too.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kathy Prendergast
Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

That’s the same percentage of people who’ve died 28 days after an ‘allegedly’ positive CV19 test. Anyway, I used to associate with enough police to know there attitudes, battered wives/partners were a particularly object of scorn. And in the last 20 years the govt ‘have there backs’ absolutely. Under Boris they they virtually call the shots, he couldn’t keep increasing his Corona restrictions without them.

Karen Vowles
Karen Vowles
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I agree. I was a cop in the 1970’s. I am female. Sexism was rampant but it was everywhere in those days. We didnt think anything of it but you stood up for yourself and avoided danger. Today many women don’t know how to do this unfortunately. we have to be very careful about what comes out of our mouth here as we need the Police. Otherwise we have anarchy. I hate to think that it could happen..

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Facts don’t seem to matter anymore. We are more likely to die in a road accident than be murdered and most women are murdered by somebody they know. It is easy being wise after the event and the police are not allowed any mistakes. Nobody is that perfect. I suspect that to work for the police they have to become remote from the terrible events they see otherwise they could not do the job. Perhaps we should have an all women police force and see how they get on. I imagine we would see a lot of men falsely accused of crimes.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
2 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

“Enforcers of white patriarchal authority”
No, she equally criticises the crimes of Pakistani patriarchal authority.

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago

One of the problems that a lot of men have with these figures is that the line is so often blurred between rape and serious sexual violence on the one hand and vague concepts such as making women feel uncomfortable on the other. Could it not be the case that so few complaints are upheld because there is nothing worth complaining about? Simply highlighting that terrible things do happen does not prove that all complaints are legitimate.
We’ve recently read that 97% of women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives. However, this includes being stared at. By this definition I’d imagine 97% of men have also experienced it. I certainly have and I’m not exactly Idris Elba.
Feminists like Julie are so desperate to portray society as one great cesspool of misogyny that they deliberately inflate their statistics. Unfortunately, this has the effect of alienating a lot of men who dismiss the whole thing as a bunch of man hating women complaining about nothing. This is a shame as there are clearly real problems out there but it’s impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

Excellent comment that gets to the heart of the issue.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

No they dont.
Middle class high strung lefties like you may do.
Do you think the grooming gang victims feared the police or their mainly Pakistani attackers?
Where were you or the labour party on that one?
Covering it up due to racial sensitivities.
Only worry about the correct victims forget about the others.
Misandry is alive and well shame it’s not a hate crime

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I think the grooming gang victims probably feared both the police and their attackers.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

I don’t fear the police. In fact, I believe that women and minorities are the biggest losers of defund the police efforts. But the author appears to be posting from the early 1900s when there were no female cops (and maybe there aren’t women cops in the UK). And who “automatically” believes any group of people? It’s patently ridiculous.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
EfraĂ­n CalderĂłn
EfraĂ­n CalderĂłn
3 years ago

Are you missing the point?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

No. I’m disagreeing with the article.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

How about stating clearly what point you believe Annette has overlooked – in order to facilitate a response for others to consider.
Cheap statements like “are you missing the point?” are unworthy of a primary school student.
Maybe Twitter is a better platform for you…

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago

Women are the biggest losers when the police don’t have a colour blind policy where they deal with crime totally impartially on behalf of the entire population.
Once they are afraid of being called Racist or Islamophobic or Transphobic and they let it influence their policing, they are letting down the victims of crime. Often women and girls take the brunt of this, because they are easy targets for criminal gangs and need the protection of the police and the law.
The police let down women most when they let woke politics influence their policing. Which they do all the time. That’s how they have failed women, and everyone else.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
3 years ago

According to the article then, for the six year period between 2012 and 2018, 371 complains were upheld police officers, special constables and police community support officers for sexual misconduct That is an average of 60 per annum.
To put this in perspective the number of police officers, special constables and police community support officers in England and Wales totals over 200,000 individuals. In that context, 60 proven complains could be regarded as surprisingly low.
Such complaints would relate to 0.03% of law enforcement officers per annum. Or, put another way, 99.97 of officers are free of complaints of sexual misconduct. Mistrusting police officers in general based on these figures is completely irrational.

Last edited 3 years ago by Marcus Leach
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Your 200,000 figure understates matters – the correct total would be everyone who was in the police during that time. It’s not the same 200,000 individuals throughout.

Miro Mitov
Miro Mitov
3 years ago

The examples cited are horrible and the perpetrators should definitely be dealt with. No one is advocating that sexual misconduct and crime among police officers does not exist or it should not be punished. On the contrary, I am all for insistence on strict code of conduct and robust enforcement of that among the police force.
Unfortunately, there indeed may be obstacles for that to happen to the fullest. High turnover of staff, low pay, diversity-based hiring, underfunding, undertraining, sensitivity about being perceived as racially profiling a certain high-risk groups, dealing with false allegations- these are all factors that can impact on low prosecution and conviction rates of alleged sexual assaults, and way more important than a perceived ‘locker-room culture’ among police officers.
I certainly do not believe that most women fear the police more than the rapist gangs of the ‘diversity-enriched and vibrant communities’ and articles to that effect are hardly helping.  Focusing on a very small percentage of bad apples among the police force and coming up with sweeping conclusions that this is the main cause of sexual violence against women is only bound to misdirect any remedial actions in completely the wrong area. Educating women on measures to take for personal security, not glossing over where the real problem lies due to racial and ethnic sensitivities, addressing the rampant misogyny among the Muslim community are good places to start and will be areas where every pound spent will be most effective.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Miro Mitov

Educating women on measures to take for personal security.”
Do not go out? Do not get in a taxi? Do not expect help from the police?

Simon Sharp
Simon Sharp
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Yes – that’s the Julie Bindell method of educating exactly right there..

  • instill constant fear in women that if they go outside the door they will be raped
  • At every opportunity indoctrinate the idea that you do not live in a modern western liberal society with its share of horrible problems – but in fact live in a dystopian misogynist nightmare full of Hieronymus bosch pig faced cackling men on every corner.
  • if they don’t agree that they feel in this constant state of abject fear attack them for being unwitting pawns in the patriarchy (internalized misogyny – false consciousness) or accuse them of being right wing (the same thing)
  • Continually enforce the notion that all police are sexist pigs and they will never ever help you- NO ONE will ever help you and you will ALWAYS be left beaten and alone crying in a dark alleyway if you so much as dare to go out late.

I agree – this kind of education is much better and will fill women with a sense of agency and confidence. We must not stop until every woman is cowering nervous terrified wreck that truly believes their being raped is just a matter of time.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Sharp

So what measures for personal security do you think Miro Mitov had in mind?

Miro Mitov
Miro Mitov
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I will answer you myself. The measures to ensure personal safety are similar, but not to the extent of the farcical nonsense you describe. Do not go alone to unsafe areas, do not use unlicenced taxis, do not accept drinks from people you do not know, be aware of your surroundings, do not incapacitate yourself by alcohol or drugs- pretty much what not only sensible women but any sensible man should also follow. Will those guarantee 100% safety- absolutely not, but at least such measures will decrease the risk substantially. Nothing can guarantee 100% personal safety- in 2013 there was an accident in London where a helicopter crashed in a high-rise tower and fell on top of a pedestrian below – how do you prevent that if you were the pedestrian?- yet there are measures that everyone can take to limit the risk for themselves. Stories like that monster masquerading as a taxi driver unfortunately do happen and hopefully this story will lead to changes in the future that can, if not prevent, then at least make similar stories a rarity. However, belittling personal safety measures and focusing instead of rooting out ‘locker room culture’ among the police and the ‘lad mentality’ as the main culprits for sexual violence are not very likely to lead to quick and tangible results.
If you have better proposals for identifying rapist taxi drivers and prevent rapes please do not hold back- I am burning with desire to hear them.

Last edited 3 years ago by Miro Mitov
S A
S A
3 years ago
Reply to  Miro Mitov

And to add to your comment that is the advice given to young men for years and the advice I would give to young men too.

I have seen lots of claims that these basic steps are too taxing for women to think about. Given it is expected of men, the suggestion of it being so hard for women almost sounds… misogynistic?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Miro Mitov

Thank you for replying. Bindell’s proposal for identifying rapist taxi drivers is for police to take women’s complaints more seriously.
It was the same story for all those other women who had flagged down Worboys’ cab after a night out assuming they’d be safe in his black cab. Investigating officers generally presumed the women were drunk, incapable and unreliable. The victims were blamed and the cabbie allowed to drive on.”

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I think if a number of complaints are made about one individual then the red lights should start flashing away; but it seems that the police light-bulb was dud. This I think is the main point that I took from the article.

catherine.gormley
catherine.gormley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Educating women on measures to take for personal security.”
Agree Ian. Sarah Everard took all the precautions – used well lit streets, was dressed “appropriately” whatever that means , phoned her boyfriend to tell him she was on her way home. I am not sure she could have reasonably done anything else and yet…

Miro Mitov
Miro Mitov
3 years ago

As I responded to Ian, no one is suggesting that these measures can guarantee 100% safety. Unfortunately, bad people do exist, and sometimes monstrous crimes are committed and there is nothing anyone could do to prevent them. But this is not a reason to reject the advice for sensible approach towards personal safety.
Out of interest, what would you suggest for preventing cases like Sarah Everard occurring?

hintonbenedict
hintonbenedict
3 years ago

Would a 6pm curfew for men have prevented her murder? Or maybe men “calling out” sexist jokes? Life is not a Gillette commercial.

hintonbenedict
hintonbenedict
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Do you buy all these strawmen in bulk? I hope they give you a discount.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  hintonbenedict

I haven’t seen the documentary, but from this article it appears these women had been on a night out – no hint they’d gone to an unsafe area – and they’d got into a black cab – which they’d have assumed was a licensed taxi, whether it was or not (and the article gives no indication it wasn’t).
So some of the advice above about avoiding unsafe spaces and unlicensed cabs seems tangential, maybe straw-manning. I got the impression they’d gone somewhere they expected to be safe, and got into a taxi they thought would be safe.
So if “Do not go out. Do not get in a taxi.” isn’t the advice, what is? Don’t expect to be safe if you go out at night, and don’t expect the police to take sexual assault seriously if you do go out, they’ve got enough on their plates keeping us all safe?

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Richard E
Richard E
3 years ago

These articles are fake. The writer is a fraud.
If she was interested in protecting women she would be writing about the Muslim Rape Gangs on a weekly basis. There are thousands of victims there that everyone is still ignoring. Maybe it’s because a large number of the victims are working class.
What about the street gangs – there is a lot of abuse of girls there too. No one wants to tackle it in their articles because the gangs are often black and the girls working class.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard E

To your standard upper middle class Left wing commentator, the white working class victims of mainly Pakistani-British rape gangs do not count, partly because the facts don’t fit the narrative of the white population “oppressing” the ethnic minority groups, but also because those girls just aren’t “people like us, dahling”.

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago

During the phone hacking scandal, journalists were found to have illegally abused their power to spy on people. This included the families of children who had been murdered, victims of terrorism and the relatives of army veterans.
I wonder if Julie thinks all journalists (including herself) should be tarred with the same brush as she attempts to do with the police? Should we lose trust in her and disregard everything she says because some in her profession are clearly complete cretins? Or, does she reserve the right to be treated as an individual?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

I wonder if Julie thinks all journalists (including herself) should be tarred with the same brush as she attempts to do with the police? 
Oh, come now. You know that only certain groups can be painted with the broadest brush imaginable: men, white people, bosses, and some others. The church of the aggrieved and offended has no room for them.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I’ve just watched the documentary, and I was amazed to learn something that doesn’t appear to be in the article. After eight years , Worboys was released by the parole board! The decision was overturned before it went into effect, following a rapid appeal on behalf of two of the women for a judicial review, but it does point to problems beyond just the police.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The church of the aggrieved and offended is recruiting again. I can just imagine an article that substitutes ‘black men’ or Muslims’ or even ‘random white guys’ for police, but I can only imagine it because no one would actually write it.
First, cops are horrible people, irredeemable racists who should be defunded. Now, they’re unrepentant sexists, misogynists even. It is interesting how the talking point shifts from focusing on individuals when certain groups are concerned, but broadbrushing the entire group in other cases.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I think there are actually plenty of articles making roughly the same argument about your ‘random white guys’, and even about men in general. But you’re right otherwise. It’s hard enough to mention predominantly Pakistani-British rape gangs, even if you caveat it with observations that the offenders are a tiny sub-set of British Muslims, without being accused of racism, Islamophobia, and generally being a follower of at least Benito Mussolini, and probably Adolf Hitler.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. (attributed to Orwell by Richard Grenier).
Orwell’s actual words:
It would be difficult to hit off the one-eyed pacifism of the English in fewer words than in the phrase, ‘making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep’……. men can only be highly civilised while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them.
Julie Bindel is wrong on so many counts that it would take too long to just list the number of inaccurate assertions in this essay. Instead, let us be thankful to those willing to be rough on our behalf while we sleep easy.

Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago

The cases highlighted in the article are horrendous, and should never happen to anyone.
Just food for thought, but a low conviction rate for rape is surely one of the end goals for a civilized society. Low reporting rates, and low convictions could indicate low incidents.
I don’t believe that is the case – but when these figures are presented they are (almost) never combined with the extra data that would make them mean anything.
For example, what percentage of rape accusations are downgraded to sexual assault due to the (in my opinion stupid) legal definition of rape?

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

“I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record now”.

Progress, but the word “beginning” remains superfluous.

There already are “radical shifts” in police culture and, I’m sorry Julie, as far as I’m concerned they are a damned sight more important than your admittedly very bad but still very rare cases.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
3 years ago

Now read Theodore Dalrymple’s account of Tina Nash’s horrific sequence of ordeals. Thousands of hours of police work involving dozens of officers, several attempts to get the perpetrator into court, all frustrated by Nash herself, and her refusal to give evidence. And what did she do when, with help from her, the violent bstd was jailed? Took up with another just the same, so it all started again.

juliandodds
juliandodds
3 years ago

Very concerning article which is hard to refute. It does seem odd given that in the last 14 years we have had 4 female Home Secretaries who served for 11 of those years, a female Prime Minister and the current Chief of the Met is also a woman and has been in post for 4 years. We are clearly not holding women back when appointing the top positions so why is the situation not being addressed? Bewildering.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  juliandodds

I made the same point under a piece in which the same writer complained about the police at the Sarah Everard vigil. Female home secretary, female in charge of the police in question, yet it’s all men’s fault, apparently.

G H
G H
3 years ago

You will always find bad cases and wrongdoing in large organisations or groups of people. Journalists as well as police. Don’t use the exceptional cases to show a major problem. Deal with the specific cases harshly but don’t condemn the vast majority of police officers just because you have a hobbyhorse to ride.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

By reading the Daily Mail it would seem there is a massive case of Middle Aged, Female Teachers having sex with their students. I hope this writer does an investigation into this.

Patrick White
Patrick White
3 years ago

Can’t be bothered to read yet another dysfunctional outpouring of misandry from this woman.

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago
Reply to  Patrick White

Trust me, you didn’t miss much.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Patrick White

Sometimes you just need to see the authors name – plus the cheap clickbait title – and you know your missing nothing.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
2 years ago

Julie Bindel is one of the few feminists not completely integrated into the system of diversity. As a result, as well as exposing the oppression of women by the police and other traditional structures, she fearless tackled the Muslim grooming gang problem, when the rest of the left establishment helped the Pakistani child-rapists. She also defends women against lunatics with gender dysphoria – again, while the rest of the left does the opposite. https://mandatenow.org.uk/organised-child-sexual-exploitation-sunday-times-magazine-30907-by-julie-bindel/

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

It’s a shame that so many Unherd contributors seem to approach almost any article by deciding where the author sits on some culture war or political spectrum, and then praising or attacking them accordingly, while ignoring their main arguments!

Banter and trivialisation of sexual assault are not crimes, so won’t show up in any of the statistics about police crime people are referring to. It seems pretty likely to me that it does exist, (maybe in part as a sort of police lower ranks macho camaraderie), and I have no reason to disbelieve people who say they have heard such dismissive comments. Certainly if you thought this was a common attitude you might not have strong confidence that the police would investigate your complaint seriously.

As it happens I do think there is a danger of over emphasising the danger to women from strangers, which is very uncommon, but some anti-feminist critics seek to have it all ways, also objecting to any emphasis on domestic violence, or suddenly getting excited about the far fewer men who are subject to it.

We should try and reduce violent crime, whoever perpetrates it and whoever are its victims, and bring our best social understanding in achieving this. That surely should not be politically contentious.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

There is a valid point in this article that is largely ignored in the comments. To be effective the police need to believe in the laws they uphold. A “locker room” culture, be it misogynist or racist, that trivialises the suffering of part of the population will undermine the performance of the police. In particular it will prevent the police from ensuring that there are no “bad apples” in the police force, and there should be none. There does need to be an institutional change.
Rape convictions will always be a low percentage of accusations because in almost all cases it is one person’s word against another. Victims have to accept that, but the police must treat them with respect, make the effort to seek the evidence and find the connections between cases that they have so often missed.

Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams
2 years ago

I sympathise with the Editor(s) of Unherd. I am assuming their raison d’etre is not just to encourage clicks. I am also assuming that only paid-up members of the Unherd community are allowed to make comments. What the editorial team must have discovered is that the name ‘Julie Bindel’ is toxic in its own right. Far, far too many of the comments below this article have made mention of her name, and her reputation, and it seems abundantly clear that these two factors have shaped the contents of the Comments. They might be wondering if the Comments would have been different had the article been published under a pseudonym.
This is the first time since starting to read Unherd that I have found myself ashamed of the readership it is attracting. As a professional person who has had to work with, as well as protect people from the police, I know that a huge amount of what the article says is true, and that the UK police force has been self-selecting far too many inappropriate members for some many years now.
No, not all women fear the ‘police’, nor should they, but the subculture it has been attracting, and the locker-room mentality, is all too real, and should be a subject of deep shame for society.
Sadly, I would draw the conclusion that Julie Bindel is not going to get a fair hearing on this website; and that fact shocks and saddens me. The general tenor of the comments I have read above are distasteful, and signal to me the beginning of the end of Unherd’s usefulness as a platform.

Last edited 2 years ago by Stephen Williams
Dave M
Dave M
3 years ago

Let’s not forget that Bindel still carries a torch for Bea Campbell, even writing admiringly of her in Bidel’s last piece.
Campbell, an agenda-driven misandrist who lied and lied again in support of her lying partner and her ridiculous, unfounded and since disproven claims of ritual satanic sexual abuse of children.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago

Unbelievable to read the comments.. there seems to be more focus on the messenger than the actual message, and even then.. more focus on how the ‘t’ is crossed and the ‘i’ is dotted..

Women have suffered greatly under the police behavior and that is the best you commenters can do????

No wonder the problem persists!

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

“But you would have thought, wouldn’t you, that 12 years after Worboys was finally convicted, the force might have got their house in order?”
It’s forty years since Peter Sutcliffe murdered thirteen women. You might have hoped, if not thought, the police could get their act together by now.

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

police officials shout about their wonderful police officers being spat at, abused and that they NEED VACCINATING. This shows how corrupt MI6 HAS MADE THEM ALL.WITH HIS WMD TORTURE MACHINES AND THEY SAY THEY WILL GET 16.5B MORE OF THE WEAPONRY. THE OFFICIALS SHOULD BE SHOUTING OUT AGAINST CRIME NOT SHOUTING FOR VACCINES. gathering ie meeting together IS TREATED AS THE WORSE CRIME IN THE UK and child abuse, murder burglary buggery by force of wmd ,slavery set ups drug dealing goes without a mention by police. tommy robinson was spat at and he got arrested. tommy shouting against grooming gangs and he got LOCKED UP FOR IT. 9 WEEKS DURING WHICH TIME only family and lawyers were allowed to see him. THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN his time in prison used to get canada crime into his cell. They tried to corrupt him in his cell (ie mi6) 50k x a third of nazis after war went to work for mi5 and mi6.. WE KNOW WHY ALL THE SHOUTING AGAINST CRIME GOES UNNOTICED AND IGNORED AND POLICE SHOUTING OUT FOR VACCINES INSTEAD OF AGAINST CRIME. THIS WAS MISS PINKNEY.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

what?

David Lewis
David Lewis
2 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

What?

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

129 MORE WOMEN DIED LAST YEAR. AT HANDS OF MI6 PATSIES

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

WMD POWER AGAINST POLICE TACKLING CRIME. they can tackle gathering!!!!!

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

Way to begin an article with a grotesquely generalized statement: “Why women fear the police.” Women fear the police? Really? Perhaps what the author means is SOME women fear the police. But to fail to clarify this from the outset is as inept as titling an article about the disparities of outcome in education with something like, “Why black kids fail to finish secondary school”.
Anyway, for the record I am a woman, and I don’t fear the police. Nor, I suspect, do the majority of women – or men, for that matter – who aren’t involved in crime. Often incompetent, oafish or insensitive maybe, sometimes inadequately trained, but not scary. And I live in a country in which all police are armed.

Karen Vowles
Karen Vowles
3 years ago

One bad apple so dont tar the whole dam crop…….

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago

Do women fear the police? I suspect many women fear the UK police are pretty useless. I suspect that the British police are feared by women rather less than almost any other police force, though. Making them less useless seems a good thing, as of course is prosecuting criminals among the police. Claiming that women in general fear the police seems likely to be counter-productive, though.

Steve White
Steve White
2 years ago

The usual one-sided account by Bindel, who once said men should be put in concentration camps.
The “open mind” approach is sensible compared to “I believe you”. It has to be as neutral as possible because some women lie and Justice is a fair process hopefully, not taking sides as JB seems to want. She no doubt cares nothing for men and didn’t mention the men were innocent who were accused but who cares about such a minor detail

Steve White
Steve White
2 years ago

The usual one-sided account by Bindel, who once said men should be put in concentration camps.
The “open mind” approach is sensible compared to “I believe you”. It has to be as neutral as possible because some women lie and Justice is a fair process hopefully, not taking sides as JB seems to want. She no doubt cares nothing for men and didn’t mention the men were innocent who were accused but who cares about such a minor detail

chasfgeor
chasfgeor
2 years ago

Julie Bindel appears to be very pro-feminist and probably anti-male, as her outline shows.
Probably a justified counter-weight to those who are misogynists.
She might even be termed a misandrist?
Still she probably has a point.

Last edited 2 years ago by chasfgeor
Leanne B
Leanne B
2 years ago
Reply to  chasfgeor

Or you could try engaging with what she’s talking about. Or listening to women. I have been truly stunned by the number of stories told to me personally by women who have suffered poor treatment by police. Including stalking by creepy officers. And who didn’t report it because 
 what would be the point. So sure. Don’t believe women 
 again.

Leanne B
Leanne B
2 years ago

The people commenting here all seem very sure of themselves and their “stats”. And seem to have more interest in who the messenger is than engaging honestly with what she is saying.

We aren’t just talking about crimes like Sarah Everard. We are talking about ignored complaints, women who have been assaulted by police, women who are not believed when they complain. Whistleblower police officer who herself told an awful tale of bullying and hate from her male colleagues. So women don’t report. Why would we? Stop ignoring it or judging the author, and start listening. There is institutional misogyny in our police force. It needs to be sorted out. And it won’t be while it is dismissed as not worth worrying about.

Last edited 2 years ago by Leanne B
David Lewis
David Lewis
2 years ago

Every vocal, evangelical interest group starts by talking about ‘equality’, but what they are really interested in is superiority and, ultimately, supremacy. That’s human nature. The patriarchy is on the run and the feminists won’t rest until it’s replaced by the matriarchy.
The matriarchy may then prevail until the next societal breakdown when the value of testosterone and the resulting greater muscle bulk will reassert itself. Although, have you noticed how tall young women are getting nowadays?

David Lewis
David Lewis
2 years ago

Every vocal, evangelical interest group starts by talking about ‘equality’, but what they are really interested in is superiority and, ultimately, supremacy. That’s human nature. The patriarchy is on the run and the feminists won’t rest until it’s replaced by the matriarchy.
The matriarchy may then prevail until the next societal breakdown when the value of testosterone and the resulting greater muscle bulk will reassert itself. Although, have you noticed how tall young women are getting nowadays?

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

Julie: having an open mind is not the same as shifting the blame on to the victims and you know it.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago

Julie: having an open mind is not the same as shifting the blame on to the victims and you know it.

S A
S A
3 years ago

There is a reason to be concerned about the type of person who becomes a police officer. It is a role that gets a lot of power and as a result it will attract both the well intentioned community minded types but also some scary authoritarian types too. You can find plenty of evidence of antagonistic behaviour against the public on YouTube and when young I certainly experienced that attitude too.

However as noted by many others (my back of a fag packet calculations differ slightly) the apparent evidence from the numbers is very small, too high, but small. I got a figure of under 2% when adjusting for a number of factors that pushed the number up. I remember a figure many years ago that something like 2% of the population were at risk of committing malicious crimes (i.e. not stuff like doing 33 in a 30 limit etc.).

We should be skeptical of police action, they exercise state power, and power must be kept in check. However, exaggerating risk is a feminist technique for money and relevance. We should all be careful, yet realistic about risks in life. A bit less hyperbole would help, but that would make too many doom merchants redundant.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  S A

About one in three British men has a criminal record, half convicted more than once, and 85% of them when under 30.
Compared to that, the police seem pretty exemplary.

Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I’d be interested to have a reference/source for that statistic

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

‘ Compared to that, the police seem pretty exemplary’. So we should hope.
But this is all a distraction from the main point, which is that in some police forces, police stations or investigating teams, women’s complaints against men for sexual assault are not treated with proper respect (what is proper respect? I guess it is how you hope the complaint would be treated if it was your wife, daughter, sister – or yourself, dear Claire, – making it.)
that they may have a greater level of respect, or a lower rate of offending, than the general public, is good , but it is hardly perfect. And I think you have to aim for perfection in these matter.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

Perhaps we need to ask the Police how they perceive the World and what they should do ?

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

One wonders what Julie would do if some nasty buglers entered her home at night, would she say ” Oh I can’t call the police, they are so dangerous!” I’ll just let the burglars take what they want, they couldn’t be any worse than the old bill”.
Same old Julie; more emotionalism and illogic, with a liberal sprinkling of victimology.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

Bindel should be asking about the wives of some of these murders and the police she criticises. What do they see, or fail to see, in their husbands?

Lydia R
Lydia R
3 years ago

The people JB are likely to vote for are also fully on board with trans women are women and when she is annoyed about that, she publishes her articles in right leaning journals, the kind that would support the police.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

No. The Police are good and there is room for improvement. No need to go off the deep end. Reading JB is a bit like drinking undiluted lemon cordial.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

I guess, like many Unherd readers, the police have come across as polite and respectful in your encounters with them.
That is not everyone’s experience of the police. Have you seen Red, White and Blue, in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series? It depicts the experiences of Leroy Logan MBE with the police, mostly from within, and hardly leads one to assume they would be any more respectful toward women. 

William Blake
William Blake
2 years ago

Julie Bindel’s article is grossly out of balance. She completely fails to mention the causes of unwanted attention by men. Pornography is one in which women participate willingly to make easy money. Also women fail to respect the natural masculine characteristic of being aroused by a woman without which babies would not be conceived.
They should recognise that dressing inapropriately automatically invites male attention. Nowadays many women of all ages persist in deliberatyely dressing in revealing clothing leaving little to the imagination. Such thoughtless behaviour demonstrates a lack of respect for men.
Women should be advised (told?) to always dress modestly or risk being taken for a prostitute, as some undoubtedly are. And chaperoning should be reintroduced. Women must recognise that they cannot dress as they choose and simply ignore the resultant effect on the opposite sex.
Finally women who feel threatened should be offered self defence courses to enable them to deal with unwanted male attention.

Leanne B
Leanne B
2 years ago
Reply to  William Blake

This whole comment demonstrates why we are where we are. “It’s up to women to not get raped.”

Women are not raped and attacked because of their clothing. They are raped, attacked and murdered because they are women.

And if you think that a self defence course is going to help a small woman defend herself against a large man – or men – you’re not thinking it through.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Leanne B

And what is ‘modestly’? The Taliban think it is being shrouded head to foot in a blue sack, with a grill to peer through. Should we revert to our schooldays, when uniform skirts were a regulation number of inches above the knee? ( yes, really, measured with a ruler if they thought it was too short).
I personally don’t much care for the bondage trend in fashion, though since they are designed by men I presume it must be attractive. But I don’t think that it is a signal that the wearer wishes to be tied up and abused by some random stranger, and I hope that you don’t, either.