A woman in her 20s went to the police to report that she had been raped in Manchester, England - almost two hours from her home in Newcastle . She provided the clothing she was wearing the night of the alleged assault to help with the investigation. Later, when she requested to receive her clothes back, she was unexpectedly hit with a fine of £150 - nearly $200 in U.S. currency.
"I just feel incredibly let down from start to finish. The whole [process] has felt like a complete violation," the woman told the Guardian. "It seems insignificant – it was just a bunch of clothes – but it was just one more thing I’d lost on that night, when the guy got away with everything."
While the Greater Manchester police have since denied this policy requiring alleged rape victims to pay to get back their own belongings, they did admit that "victims are able to arrange their own courier and the costs would be met by themselves." The force passed the case to its professional standards branch, which deals with complaints. The branch apologize to the victim and offered to pay the fee for her to receive her clothes.
Jess Phillips, a member of the influential women and equalities select committee, professed her disparaging opinion of the incident to the Guardian, citing greed and inhumanity as influences.
"This is just another case where cutbacks in police funding are being laid at the door of the most vulnerable," Phillips said. "When the police can’t afford to do quite a basic and routine thing like send things in the post, it has a human consequence – in this case, that an alleged rape victim could have been left out of pocket for doing the right thing."
What do you think? Were the cops just doing their job by following an order they believe is best for survival of their department, or should no one suffer financially over material items after already enduring enough pain? Let us know in the comments below!