Rape accusers to be asked to hand their phones to police Watch

ThomH97
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A tricky one this. Having their phones and everything being scrutinised by the police will obviously deter many accusers from coming forward to the police, which is clearly a bad thing. However, the move towards gathering as much relevant information as possible on the accuser and the accused from likely sources (such as phones) is motivated by several such cases collapsing after it being found that the police didn't find or disclose exonerating evidence in time, such as here.

I think it would depend on the accused's defence, if they claimed (as Allan did) that the accuser had sent them many messages pestering for sex, but then this undermines the right to a fair trial if one side has to disclose their strategy (even if it is 'tell the truth') before getting to court. It also wouldn't have found that Allan's accuser had often discussed Allan with others (so he would have no idea of it from the messages he shared with her), including rape fantasies.

Is it reasonable to require an accuser's phone and information to check if there is any information on it that would discredit them? Obviously with the burden of proof being on the accuser, it is sensible to see if there is a gaping hole in their story as soon as possible. But even if nothing were found, an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence so this line of evidence gathering can only hurt the accuser, not help them (that I can see). They would be compelled to give evidence that can't help them (unless it contradicts the accused's story later, but we can't know what that will be), or the prosecution may not go ahead.
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CoolCavy
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I can see why that would be important if it was rape by a relation or partner but for stranger rape etc idk what that would achieve
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ChickenMadness
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I think it's a great idea. Will stop liars from ruinning people's lives. And if you're telling the truth it won't hurt you.
Last edited by ChickenMadness; 3 weeks ago
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Jenx301
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I think this already happens. When I reported rape to the police there were texts from him apologising for what he had done. The police took my phone.
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JinChang
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All this surveillance and they still need us to hand over our phones to find text messages...
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ANM775
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(Original post by Jenx301)
I think this already happens. When I reported rape to the police there were texts from him apologising for what he had done. The police took my phone.
Did those texts get him convicted?
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Molseh
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For them to be admitted as evidence of course they do.
(Original post by JinChang)
All this surveillance and they still need us to hand over our phones to find text messages...
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username4454836
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With the growing need to collect digital evidence it makes perfect sense to have the best chance at securing the correct result in any given case.
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EstelleA
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I think it’s perfectly fine. The accuser should want to help themselves- if your phone being looked at ensures and supports your case then by all means give it to them
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Obolinda
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Apparently if they refuse to give in phone, their case could be dropped.😶 people saying this may break some privacy or human right laws.
Last edited by Obolinda; 3 weeks ago
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squeakysquirrel
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I know someone whose life was ruined by a woman accusing him of rape. She had sex then immediately regretted it because she had a boyfriend and was basically cheating on him. She made up all sorts of stories about how he plied her with alcohol and drugs. He was hauled before the police, had to drop out of university through stress. Lost friends etc.

Unfortunately for her cctv showed her all over him. The people at the bar remembered her as being quite sober. He never took drugs and the case was thrown out. But mud sticks.

Eventually discovered she made a habit of accusing men of rape.
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ANM775
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(Original post by ThomH97)
A tricky one this. Having their phones and everything being scrutinised by the police will obviously deter many accusers from coming forward to the police, which is clearly a bad thing. However, the move towards gathering as much relevant information as possible on the accuser and the accused from likely sources (such as phones) is motivated by several such cases collapsing after it being found that the police didn't find or disclose exonerating evidence in time, such as here.

I think it would depend on the accused's defence, if they claimed (as Allan did) that the accuser had sent them many messages pestering for sex, but then this undermines the right to a fair trial if one side has to disclose their strategy (even if it is 'tell the truth') before getting to court. It also wouldn't have found that Allan's accuser had often discussed Allan with others (so he would have no idea of it from the messages he shared with her), including rape fantasies.

Is it reasonable to require an accuser's phone and information to check if there is any information on it that would discredit them? Obviously with the burden of proof being on the accuser, it is sensible to see if there is a gaping hole in their story as soon as possible. But even if nothing were found, an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence so this line of evidence gathering can only hurt the accuser, not help them (that I can see). They would be compelled to give evidence that can't help them (unless it contradicts the accused's story later, but we can't know what that will be), or the prosecution may not go ahead.

For a genuine rape victim it is somewhat intrusive however too many women these days are making false allegations and this is an attempt to cut down on dodgy cases being put before the courts so I welcome the changes.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Apparently if they refuse to give in phone, their case could be dropped.😶 people saying this may break some privacy or human right laws.
The case would be dropped, in that case, because of a lack of evidence. Lack of evidence is a reason to drop any case.
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ThePootisPower
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While digital evidence is probably necessary to pursue cases, I've gotta say: who decides to what extent the Police are allowed to go through your phone? When do they stop? Is it even necessary if the rapist didn't communicate with you digitally?

While this seems an open-and-shut "yes this is a good idea" case at first, keep in mind that the lack of privacy and transparency may not be palatable to those who've already been exploited and attacked.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by ThomH97)
A tricky one this. Having their phones and everything being scrutinised by the police will obviously deter many accusers from coming forward to the police, which is clearly a bad thing. However, the move towards gathering as much relevant information as possible on the accuser and the accused from likely sources (such as phones) is motivated by several such cases collapsing after it being found that the police didn't find or disclose exonerating evidence in time, such as here.

I think it would depend on the accused's defence, if they claimed (as Allan did) that the accuser had sent them many messages pestering for sex, but then this undermines the right to a fair trial if one side has to disclose their strategy (even if it is 'tell the truth') before getting to court. It also wouldn't have found that Allan's accuser had often discussed Allan with others (so he would have no idea of it from the messages he shared with her), including rape fantasies.

Is it reasonable to require an accuser's phone and information to check if there is any information on it that would discredit them? Obviously with the burden of proof being on the accuser, it is sensible to see if there is a gaping hole in their story as soon as possible. But even if nothing were found, an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence so this line of evidence gathering can only hurt the accuser, not help them (that I can see). They would be compelled to give evidence that can't help them (unless it contradicts the accused's story later, but we can't know what that will be), or the prosecution may not go ahead.
I think it is needed. If the accusation is real, the accuser has nothing to hide. It will also deter people from falsely accusing innocent people.

I think the current rape stance is a bit off IMO. In many other cases, the police investigates the whole matter. However, for rape, there seems to be the demand of believing the accuser by default.
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CommanderKeen
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If the phone is encrypted they will never make it in without a password, so kind of useless.
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ThePootisPower
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(Original post by CommanderKeen)
If the phone is encrypted they will never make it in without a password, so kind of useless.
I mean, they'll probably force you to give the password when giving the phone. I don't think the police are that stupid, Keen.
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CommanderKeen
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Unless they torture you, I cannot imagine how would they do it. Also, this would be like giving evidence against yourself, so that wont fly neither.
(Original post by ThePootisPower)
I mean, they'll probably force you to give the password when giving the phone. I don't think the police are that stupid, Keen.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by ThePootisPower)
While digital evidence is probably necessary to pursue cases, I've gotta say: who decides to what extent the Police are allowed to go through your phone? When do they stop? Is it even necessary if the rapist didn't communicate with you digitally?

While this seems an open-and-shut "yes this is a good idea" case at first, keep in mind that the lack of privacy and transparency may not be palatable to those who've already been exploited and attacked.
I think the police would want to search in several places for evidence. They would check around the scene of the crime, take some swabs from the accused and accuser, do some checks for trauma to the vagina (for women who are raped), check for communication etc.

I don't think the police is taking the phones to expose the accuser.
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sophia5892
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ChickenMadness

Sorry I can't multi-quote.... it's a bit naive to say that if you're telling the truth it won't hurt you or you've nothing to hide! Anything taken from your phone has to be handed over to the defence and can be used against you. I don't know if you saw the case in Ireland where they used the victim's choice of underwear against her? Can you imagine what they'd do with access to potentially intimate messages and photos sent to others (not the accused) and whatever other personal info is on there?

So I'm a bit on the fence with this - I'd be okay with giving my phone to prove that I was telling the truth and hadn't sent texts saying it was consensual and then changed my story etc etc. But I'm not okay with unrelated messages/photos/data etc being used against me at trial.

So for me, until we live in a society where a rape victim's sexual history, fantasies, clothing, behaviour etc isn't going to be brought up at trial, I'd be against this being enforced.
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