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Lichfield and Burntwood’s MP says plans for mobile phones to be handed over by victims of rape could help clear those falsely accused of such crimes.
The proposal would allow full access to digital devices and comes after the collapse of cases where crucial evidence had later been found through such channels.
Charities have warned that it could prevent more victims from speaking out.
But in a debate in the House of Commons, Michael Fabricant MP told Home Office minister Nick Hurd that such a move could help avoid ruining the lives of innocent people.
“The victims of rape are not only those who have had this terrible crime done to them, but people who have been wrongly accused,” he said.
“A young friend of mine was wrongly accused of rape, making his life a misery for months and months – he was bursting into tears and all the rest of it because of the stress.
“Only through telephone evidence that emerged was it shown that his accuser had been sexting him. He had not seen this person for years.
“So may I just say to the Minister that he should say to the police that this is the right course of action? Of course it has to be proportionate, but, justice has to be done – and that includes for those people who have been accused of rape when in fact they are innocent.”
Mr Hurd said that while victims of such serious crimes should be able to come forward, their was a responsibility to ensure thorough investigations take place.
“It is an absolutely heinous crime and there is huge space for us to improve,” he said.
“However, we have to be mindful, not least in the light of very recent highly publicised cases, of the damage when things go wrong where lives and personal lives are ruined as a result of failures in the disclosure system and cases collapse at the last minute.
“That is a terrible outcome for absolutely everyone.
“Underpinning this proposal is a desire of the police to improve the understanding of what they are requesting so that consent is better informed.”
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