Friday 19th April 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

NYP Custody Scandal: Manchester Rape Allegation

NYP Custody Scandal: Manchester Rape Allegation

In this article, NYE Crime Correspondent TIM HICKS covers the recent shocking allegations of abuse of women in Greater Manchester Police (GMP) custody suites. The NYE has been raising this issue in North Yorkshire for some time. It is now clear that it is a national Police corruption issue.

This shows once again, that the NYE is first in  bringing our readers cutting-edge coverage of serious issues in policing.

NYP Custody Scandal: Manchester Rape Allegation

by TIM HICKS

~~~~~

Manchester Officers alleged to have raped a detainee

There has been widespread public concern over allegations that Ms Zayna Iman (shown above and below) was gang raped by Police Officers from GMP while she was in custody and that GMP is trying to cover this up.

Ms Zayna IMAN

This Sky News programme (here) (duration nine minutes) shows that Ms Iman was strip searched in a cell, then left topless with Officers able to see her breasts on CCTV. The programme also covers allegations by two other detainees, “Kirsty*1” who alleges that she was arrested and strip searched in retaliation for criticising the Police, and “Maria*1” who alleges that she was intimately strip searched because she had criticised GMP. In short, both detainees allege that strip searching was used by GMP Officers as a punishment to degrade them both for criticising the GMP.

Finally, it quotes a GMP statement that “there is currently no evidence to suggest any GMP employees have misconducted themselves or committed a criminal offence”.

Ms Iman has stated that although she pursued a complaint over her treatment, she was stone-walled by GMP. This allegation is supported by former GMP detective Maggie Oliver, who exposed the Rochdale grooming scandal and founded The Maggie Oliver Foundation.

Maggie was not able to get any action from GMP or the Police Commissioner on their cases. It was only after the media coverage that the Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham intervened to order an investigation. The Maggie Oliver Foundation is supporting “Kirsty*1” and “Maria*1”, as well as several other women and one man. These victims are now giving evidence to the Baird inquiry into GMP.

Other women and men have come forward and said that they have had similar experiences with other Police Forces.

[*1 Not their real names]

So what is the situation in North Yorkshire?

Sexual abuse of detainees in NYP custody suites by NYP Officers

North Yorkshire Police (NYP) custody suites were jointly inspected by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission in 2010, 2015 and 2022. The inspections revealed evidence of sexual abuse:

“2.15 We had some concerns about the treatment of women, specifically when they were forced to wear anti-rip suits (to prevent the use of clothing as ligatures).…….male officers were in a woman’s cell while she was being put into anti-rip clothing when their presence was not appropriate.

In a separate case, we observed CCTV footage where a woman had her clothing forcibly removed and was partially naked in the presence of male officers with little, if any, consideration of maintaining her dignity. On discussing this matter with police managers, there was no rational explanation for the presence of these male officers in the cell.

4.24 ………….In most incidents we reviewed on CCTV, force was proportionate to the risks posed and was de-escalated reasonably quickly. However, in one incident there were insufficient efforts to de-escalate, and in another a woman detainee was forcibly required to wear anti-rip clothing with insufficient attention to maintaining her dignity and with male staff present when she was partially naked, which was inappropriate and unnecessary. We referred both incidents to the criminal justice chief inspector.”

some practices are disrespectful, particularly when detainee clothing is removed”.

[My emphasis in bold]

 The 2022 inspection was damning and identified fifteen areas for improvement with sixty individual points of improvement. In response, Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Elliot Foskett issued a statement “that some processes, such as the recording of information, are not of the highest possible standard.” He went on to state that “We are pleased the HMICFRS has recognised we have good measures in place to oversee the safe and respectful provision of custody.” In short, ACC Foskett misrepresented the findings of the report. A cover-up.

The presence of a male Officer in a cell with a woman in a state of undress when there is absolutely no justification or need for it is a form of voyeurism. It is indicative of an ongoing culture of sexual abuse by a ring of predatory NYP Police Officers. Worse, if the detainees were underage, it smacks of paedophilism.

The NYE has raised this issue and tried to get these officers and charged with voyeurism in the following articles:

The person ultimately responsible for maintaining police discipline is Chief Constable Winward and the official charged with holding the Police to account is Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe. Predictably, they have both stone-walled and ignored all correspondence on the issue. The same response as GMP. A cover-up.

NYP a failure of oversight and accountability

In the Manchester case, media comment resulted in a commendably swift and effective response from Mayor Burnham, who is charged with holding GMP to account.

The key point is that it was the media that triggered the investigation, not GMP. This demonstrates how important it is that public bodies, particularly the Police, are subject to media scrutiny.

CC Lisa Winward (left) and PFCC Zoë Metcalfe (right)

In North Yorkshire, Chief Constable Winward and Commissioner Metcalfe follow a joint policy of proscribing the NYE and refusing to respond to requests for media comment or Freedom of Information requests.

This has enabled the Chief Constable and Commissioner Metcalfe to evade commenting on these allegations to the NYE, which is the only media outlet in North Yorkshire that will cover this type of story.

So by proscribing the NYE they have been able to keep the lid on this scandal, ensuring that NYP is not subject to the same level of effective media scrutiny as GMP. Hence the reason that no action has been taken in NYP to protect women detainees from predatory Custody Officers.

The wider issue

The wider concern over these NYP Custody Officers is that voyeurism is often the initial stage in an escalating pattern of offending:

  • Rapist and murderer PC Wayne Couzens started with offences of stalking and indecent exposure.
  • Serial rapist PC David Carrick started with offences of domestic abuse abusive, then controlling and coercive behaviour, before becoming a serial rapist.
  • Serial rapist PC Adam Provan had an extended history of allegations of misconduct.

Yet in all three cases and others, nothing was done. If effective action had been taken straight away, many of their horrific crimes would have been prevented.

It is obviously essential that Police Officers who participate in lower-level sexual offences like voyeurism are dealt with immediately and dismissed from the service, especially if their duties bring them into contact with vulnerable women.

The tactics used by Chief Constable Winward and Commissioner Metcalfe to prevent an investigation are similar to the ones NYP used against the NYE to supress allegations of Police misconduct in the Savile and Jaconelli paedophile ring in Scarborough, and were used very effectively to protect Couzens, Carrick and Provan.

Maggie Oliver has kindly given the NYE a quote, which sums up the situation in North Yorkshire perfectly:

“I was saddened but not at all surprised to hear of allegations of the abuse of individuals in police custody in North Yorkshire, and a cover-up by North Yorkshire Police.

Sadly, these are by no means isolated cases and increasingly, we at The Maggie Oliver Foundation are contacted by people from all over the UK reporting similar experiences. Very often these individuals have reported a crime as victims and in many cases filed complaints against the police, and then shockingly find that they themselves are ending up in the cells!”*2

“We need independent inquiries and outside scrutiny into these allegations. For far too long, police forces have been able to mark their own homework and cover up for rotten attitudes which run through the entirety of the system, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that we urgently need a total overhaul of a failing, and often corrupt, system.

I urge anyone having difficulty with the police to contact us through our website, www.themaggieoliverfoundation.com, and we will do all we can to support them.”

[*2 This was my experience when I criticised NYP for its failure to protect a pensioner who was being defrauded of her home by a relative. NYP would not arrest him, preferring instead to try and prosecute me for harassment of the relative.]

Collectively, the North Yorkshire taxpayer pays millions to Chief Constable Winward, ACC Foskett, Commissioner Metcalfe and her Office, the worthies on the North Yorkshire Police, Fire & Crime Panel, the Officers in the NYP Professional Standards Department and Custody Sergeants to ensure that detainees are not abused. Commissioner Metcalfe makes great play on her website of her VAWAG (Violence Against Women and Girls) strategy. No-one denies that detainees have been abused by NYP Officers, yet so far as we can tell, no action has been taken by any of these people.

Only the NYE and The Maggie Oliver Foundation are raising this issue and trying to prevent VAWAG and sexual abuse of detainees by predatory Policemen.


Right of Reply

If you are mentioned in this article and do not agree with the views expressed in it, or if you wish to correct any factual inaccuracy, please let me know using the letters@nyenquirer.uk email address and your views and a correction will be published if appropriate.


NYE Appeal for Information

If you have been abused in custody, please contact the NYE on our email letters@nyenquirer.uk. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence.


 

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