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Victims of rape need more help, says Cumbria crime chief

Cumbria's crime commissioner says it’s “unacceptable” the county has no centre where sex attack victims can go to be examined.

Richard Rhodes photo
Richard Rhodes

People who have suffered rape or other sexual assaults currently have to be taken to Lancashire – and Richard Rhodes has raised his concerns about the set-up.

Mr Rhodes, who was elected last year to oversee county crimefighting, says he is in discussions with Cumbria Police over the issue and has flagged up the possibility of cash being made available for a centre.

County police stopped using a rape suite in Longtown a number of years ago because of issues with finding suitably qualified doctors to staff it.

Victims currently travel to a sexual assault referral centre in Preston, meaning they could face a four-hour round trip.

Mr Rhodes said: “There isn’t one in Cumbria and I find that unacceptable. If the constabulary has need to access these resources they have to take the victim all the way to Preston.

“If you have an incident in Whitehaven and you have to take the victim to Preston, that is a long way to go.”

Mr Rhodes said there had been talks about the issue.

“I have been having discussions with the constabulary over the last couple of weeks about what I see as this gap in our provision,” he added. “I am concerned that we do not have a sexual referral centre in Cumbria and will be supporting efforts to ensure that we have the right facilities in the county.”

Mr Rhodes said Cumbria’s geography posed an added problem. “We have a particular issue in Cumbria, because: Where would it be?

“You could argue Cumbria needs three.”

Mr Rhodes said there was the possibility the Government might make funds available for a centre.

Have your say

It seems more care is given to perpetrators of Crimes against Humanity who are free to roam our streets and not get locked up for life until they die but are allowed to go on committing their crimes after some paltry little sentence, there is no common sense anymore.

If geography of the area is an excuse to dither around then serious organisation needs implementing like more than one Rape Crisis Centre/s and properly trained staffing levels, but then Hospitals should have Suites given over to this therein ends the silly issue and excuses.

Of course until some Government who actually cares and gives a damn and has some backbone about the peoples of the land stops the hospitals Management and brings back properly qualified Matrons to run hospitals they will always fail Patients that is proven method because you cannot effectively run a what was once a Caring establishment as a Corporate Business entity, it fails human beings. Of course it's UK PLc as per usual not a Great Britain but one of squalor.

It seems only the 1% are protected and get best of care we the tax payers pay for them so when is everyone going to wake up to this scourge in our midst.

Posted by Pete on 11 May 2013 at 08:35

This situation was brought on by the police we have a large number of fantastic doctors here in Cumbria, non of which are run by the police???????????

Posted by anon on 9 May 2013 at 19:53

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