Started by poiuyt, Jul 03, 2008, 06:25 AM
Two French research students found stabbed to death following a flat fire had been tied up and suffered horrific, excessive injuries, police have said. The bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were found in a ground-floor flat in New Cross, south-east London, on Sunday night. They had suffered a total of 243 stab wounds to the head, neck and chest before being set alight. The BBC's crime correspondent Ben Ando said Mr Bonomo had 196 stab wounds, including 100 to his back, and Mr Ferez had been stabbed 47 times.
Once again the police are on the rack, bombarded with questions about the murder of a teenager who allegedly lived in fear of a stalker. This time the victim is a schoolgirl, Arsema Dawit, who was stabbed on Monday in the lift of the block of flats near Waterloo, south London, where she lived with her mother. The 15-year-old, whose family is from Eritrea, is the newest name on a roll call of young women whose friends and relatives believe they were tragically let down by the authorities.......I can see a pattern. Time and time again, relatives of murdered women complain that the police responded too slowly, failed to take incidents seriously or simply did not believe that their daughters or sisters were being stalked. When a friend of mine was harassed by an ex-boyfriend who smashed plant-pots on her doorstep and punched her as she was approaching her flat, a police officer told her he was taking no action because it was "six of one and half a dozen of the other". ......So what is going wrong? A key factor seems to be the speed (or lack of it) with which police respond when a woman complains she is in danger; at present, investigation takes precedence over protection, and Clare Bernal's mother Tricia was absolutely right yesterday when she highlighted "the need for places where families can go to feel safe". The other big problem is the culture of disbelief which is experienced by so many victims of gender-based violence, a category which includes rape as well as domestic violence and honour-based crime. When the rape conviction rape rate is as low as 5 per cent, why should we expect women who are being stalked and harassed to be treated any better by the authorities? Despite the Government's efforts, there is entrenched scepticism about levels of violence towards women. I suspect that rank-and-file police officers are as sceptical as the rest of the population, and demoralised by their dealings with a cautious and ineffectual Crown Prosecution Service.