Here’s hoping Cabinet took firm action to stop rapists becoming their victims’ neighbours

It’s the rape capital of India, too.

Gotta have a chat with Crusher this morning, to check out what happened around the Cabinet table yesterday on the matter of rapists being able to become neighbours of their victims.

His interest was aroused on learning from Radio NZ (here) that –

The Cabinet is to consider closing a legal loophole that allowed a convicted rapist to move next door to his victim in Invercargill.

Justice Minister Judith Collins is proposing a new protection order under the Harassment Act that would allow victims of serious sexual or violent crimes to apply to a court to prevent their attacker living or working near their home.

Here’s hoping the matter has now been considered and hard decisions taken.

Why it has taken this long to get to the Cabinet table is unfathomable.

It wouldn’t have happened if Alf had been given the job.

It transpires that Crusher asked her officials to investigate late last year, after Craig James Crofts moved next door to a woman he raped.

Dunno how long it took the buggers to do their investigating or what it was – exactly – that required investigating.

But –

They found that an indefinite protection order did not prevent him from living there and that no current laws specifically cover such a contingency.

Actually, Alf recalls reading at the time (here) about this disgraceful loophole in the law.

A man who raped an Invercargill woman has been allowed to move in next door to his victim, and a legal expert says there’s nothing police can do about it.

Craig James Crofts, 48, was jailed for four years in 2004 after admitting he raped the woman, and last month moved in to the city property next door to his victim, the Southland Times reports.

While the woman has an indefinite protection order against Crofts, it does not say he cannot live beside her.

She said she could see her attacker from inside her home.

We can only imagine how upsetting this must be.

“When I see him I feel very shaky and that’s how he affects me, it just brings everything back – I hate him living next to me,” she told the Southland Times.

This Croft feller told the newspaper he knew she lived there before he moved in, but he had nowhere else to live.

He said he also felt nervous when he saw her, because he feared she would call the police.

This was an absurd situation.

But the law could not be invoked to resolve it.

Police have visited the man and encouraged him to move, but have no legislative powers to force him to relocate.

It shouldn’t be too hard, surely, to provide the legislative powers that are needed.

But even when the law is tidied up it seems likely to be limited to dealing only with blokes who have been convicted of rape.

Accordingly, women may be well advised to move away from houses with a bloke next door.

This advice would certainly be true in India, because in over 30% cases in that country, rapists happen to be neighbours or are known to their victims.

Oh, and women are advised to steer clear of Delhi for good measure.

Alf learned these awful truths at (here).

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2011 shows Delhi as the ‘rape city’ of India. Of the total 88 cities analysed by the NCRB, the city of Delhi reported 453 rape cases, which is the highest in the country. In these 88 cities, a total of 2,579 women were raped. In other words, every fifth rape in an urban area in the country was committed in Delhi.

Mumbai followed Delhi with 221 rapes while Bhopal was third with over 100 cases. The NCRB says 24,206 women were raped across the country during 2011, and in 7,619 cases, the rapist happened to [be] a neighbour.

The country’s Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh was troubled by that figure, because neighbours traditionally are perceived to be a part of the social security net.

But the incidence of their involvement in rape cases was increasing.

In 2009, the figure stood at 6,948 and it jumped to 7,619 in 2011.

In Madhya Pradesh, neighbours figured in 1,849 cases of rape out of the total 3,406 cases, making it more than 50 per cent of the cases.

These figures are for reported cases only. Several cases go unreported as women do not come forward because of threat, family prestige or simply out of shame.

Alf does not know if the cops here keep similar data.

But Mrs Grumble is asking him to consider moving to a neighbourhood with lesbian couples living together on either side.


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