Crime and Safety

Women and activists accuse UK police of listing ‘rape’ as ‘non-emergency’ crime

A leaflet issued by the Kent police outside one of their UK sites listed the “rape” as a non-emergency incident, infuriating women’s rights advocates.

On Wednesday, the BBC reported that a leaflet posted outside the Maidstone police station in the UK informed residents about what “non-emergency requests” could be made to Kent police through their website, citing “rape and sexual harassment” among them.

It was the same non-emergency channel that catered for “compliments and complaints” from attendees.

The document’s image went viral, infuriating women and activists who couldn’t believe the crime could be downgraded to a less serious category.

The BBC article stated: “Kent Police have come under fire for posting a sign at the police station listing rape and sexual harassment as ‘non-emergency’ offences.”

He shared a photo of the sign that appeared in a social media post that read: “The following non-emergency requests can be submitted online via the Kent Police website.”

Flyer from Kent Police
A poster issued by the UK’s Kent Police called the “rape” a non-emergency.

Under a bold note, the leaflet listed the crimes: “anti-social behavior, compliments and complaints, contacting the Kent police (general inquiries), crime (wide range of options), domestic violence, fraud, hate crime, missing persons, rape. and sexual violence”, and “traffic accidents”.

Twitter user and feminist Jean Hatchet shared the same image on her social media account and complained about it on Wednesday.

Expressing her fury at its contents, Hatchet tweeted: “I can barely type because of the noise of my inner screaming. @kent_police just told women that rape and domestic violence are not emergency crimes and that they shouldn’t call them to free call handlers! No wonder women are killed by men. Ashamed!

Police officer
The leaflet went viral on social media, with a BBC article even saying: “Kent Police have come under fire for displaying a sign listing rape and sexual harassment as ‘non-emergency’ offences.”
Getty Images

The BBC noted that the document was part of Kent Police’s “Click B4 U Call campaign” which it said “encouraged people, where appropriate, to use online reports to free call handlers”.

The newspaper quoted Women’s Equality Party chief executive Katherine Smith as criticizing the leaflet. She stated, “There has to be a person involved in talking to people who are experiencing it. This demonstrates that the police are not prioritizing this crime and is sending a signal to the women that what happened to them is not something serious.”

After seeing the BBC’s report on Wednesday, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott expressed his regret on Twitter, writing: “This poster was completely wrong and totally out of place. It should never have been put on, and it was rightly taken down. Rape and domestic violence were never “non-emergency cases”. I will always make sure they are treated with the seriousness they deserve.”

The publication noted that the poster “has since been taken down” and “has been replaced with one clarifying piece of advice on how best to report crimes to the police.”

Fox News Digital contacted Kent Police to comment on the negative reaction to the poster, but received no response.

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