A question of consent

BedsThere’s no conventional profile of a rapist – it can be anyone.

The public’s perception is that rapes are usually carried out by a stranger but these are actually a rarity. In most cases, the rapist is someone who is known to the victim.

In this case, the victim had met the suspect in a bar on a night out, but they didn’t know each other before that evening. It was one of the first rape investigations I was involved in from the very beginning.

The case was called in by the hospital the woman visited after the incident.  It’s not unusual for people not to report such an incident directly to the police, if they report it at all – it’s a hugely difficult thing to relive such an ordeal.

We immediately launched an investigation. We didn’t know who the suspect was, so we had to start from scratch.

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In plain sight

It was the day of the Luton Carnival last year. A day of celebration – the town coming together to celebrate diversity and communities.

Two young girls were watching the procession from a property in Luton when their lives were turned upside down.

While a parent slept, upstairs a stranger entered the house and indecently assaulted them.

Detective Constable Mo Hussain has blogged about the investigation into the incident, which featured on 24 Hours In Police Custody.

DC Hussain cropped
Detective Constable Mo Hussain

“I was given the investigation to oversee the day after it happened. It was a complex job to investigate right from the start, due to the lack of evidence and the age of the victims.

“One of the first things we did was to scour CCTV in the area. The local council’s CCTV was very much focused on the carnival; however we managed to find some CCTV which showed the property where the offence took place.

“Although the camera was focused in on the carnival crowd, in the corner of the screen we saw a man running out of the house – wearing similar clothes to the description that one of the victim’s gave.

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To kill for kudos

martin hart 24hrsPC_Lowrez-62

I joined the police in January 1998, having just started a family and finished working abroad I needed a ‘proper’ job. After training I was posted to Luton and have been in the south of the county ever since. Now I’m working in CID, where I have been since 2010, and it is probably the most challenging, rewarding, stressful and fun job I have had.

In the 18 years I have been working in the police the gang element in Bedfordshire has certainly risen. It is a mentality that is affecting more and more kids in the area.

I don’t know why they get involved – for some it could be the need for belonging, the feeling that someone has your back, family or money and kudos on the street.

However, whatever it is, it brings much pain to families.

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