Hampshire Police apologises to rape victim

Hampshire Police has apologised to the rape victim
Hampshire Police has apologised to the rape victim

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Hampshire Police has apologised to a rape victim and agreed to pay her a £20,000 out-of-court settlement after she was initially arrested by officers.

The force reached an agreement with the woman, named only as Laura, after she began proceedings against the force under the Human Rights Act, The BBC has reported.

She was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in 2012 after forensic tests on her clothes did not return a result.

But the Crown Prosecution Service ordered it to be re-tested and her attacker was eventually jailed for five years in 2013.

Chief Superintendent David Powell admitted the initial handling of the case had been “poor”.

He was quoted as saying: “We have already personally apologised to the victim and her mother and I repeat here now that we are sorry for how we let her down.

“The initial officers involved did not treat this victim in a way that she or any other victim would deserve to be treated. We deeply regret this.”

Addressing other sexual assault victims, he added: “We do believe you, we appreciate how hard it is to come forward to report these offences ... we are doing everything to ensure we never have an initial response like this again.”