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End
Miscarriages
Of
Justice for the
Innocent

The False Allegations Scam

“Where there’s money, there are scammers”

Let us take a couple of examples.

Coronavirus

There are warnings currently being issued about Covid-19 vaccine scams.

Whether you think the whole thing is an international conspiracy or that Covid-19 is, in fact, a highly contagious, highly dangerous and in many cases, deadly disease, nobody needs me to explain the catastrophic effect this coronavirus has had on so many people around the world, whether on physical health, mental health, business, education or whatever.

The sooner we can control it and return to some semblance of normality, the better for everyone and, at present, the best, and possibly only, way of that happening is via large scale vaccination programs.

So what kind of person, would you imagine, would use the opportunity of exploiting the fears and weaknesses of vulnerable people, to send fake vaccination messages and scam them out of money they may not be able to afford?

Such people have no morals, no sense of right or wrong, no empathy for their victims. They are cold parasites who think only of what they can get out exploiting a situation.

Of course, there are genuine messages from the NHS inviting people for vaccines and it is the fact that genuine ones exist that the scammers rely upon.

Romance scams

It’s often difficult to find the right partner, especially if you’re beyond the age of frequenting nightclubs etc. Arguably, one of the better things about the internet is the possibility it affords to be in touch with a larger number and wider variety of people than would have been the case before.

Looking for love puts people in a particularly vulnerable place, emotionally. To succeed, a certain amount of giving of oneself is required. And it is exactly this vulnerability that scammers exploit. They pretend to be a genuine admirer and are prepared to act the part until they have squirrelled their way into your confidence. And then they strike, trying the wheedle money out of you by using the very trust they’ve worked to build.

Of course, the vast majority of people on these websites are genuine and there are many people for whom online dating has worked very well and, again, it is that fact which enables the scammer to operate.

This week, as I write, there are reports of scammers extorting money from people with phone calls claiming threatening large fines for incorrectly filling in a UK national census form – and this is a week before the census forms are due to be completed!

There are many others, usually exploiting a weakness of a system and vulnerability of certain people: Pension scams, medical scams, charity scams, etc. etc.

False Allegations

Sadly, there are many people who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse as a child. And anyone with a conscience can only have sympathy with genuine victims of such crimes.

Unfortunately, however, the fact that victims are able to claim what can be very substantial financial compensation, either / both from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) or / and via a civil case against the alleged perpetrator, serves as extremely attractive bait to the type of unscrupulous people we have seen in the previous examples.

As we have seen, these people are prepared to research, act a role, and go to a great deal of trouble,  often for smaller amounts of money. Why would such people NOT be attracted by making false allegations? Looking at it this way, it would be all the more remarkable if they did not.

Even from a purely avaricious standpoint, it would be remarkable if there were not a large number of them. 

Unlike the other scams, however, there are also a number of additional reasons why someone may make false accusations, including, but not limited to:

jealousy, spite, revenge, attention seeking, a combination or two or more of the above and there have been a number of reported cases where such motives have been the driving factor.

Poor justice

 There isn’t space here to asses the devastating effects of poor justice – whether that be lack of justice for genuine victims or injustice for victims of false allegations. That will be another post.

Genuine victims and their representatives are heard to complain that the justice system is stacked against them and, if you only think of the system from the point of view of a genuine victim, it can seem that way. 

For victims of false allegations, however, life can be even worse. From the initial arrest to possible conviction and beyond, the devastation just gets gradually worse.

 The Numbers Game

Whether it concerns rape, other forms of indecent assault or historical abuse, many people will blindly declare, without any evidence, that the numbers of genuine victims far outweigh the number of false allegations. Some may even put a figure on it – such as “only 2% are false.” There is no justification for these claims.

Even when ‘evidence’ is quoted, they often rely on different sources, cherry-picking the figures accordingly. 

For example, they will point to the low number of successful prosecutions of false accusers – and yet the same people complain of the low rate of successful prosecutions of sexual assault as a failing of the justice system.

What little research has been done points to much higher figures of false allegations, not least because of the admitted reluctance of police and CPS to prosecute false accusers.

And yet, it should not even be about numbers. Even if the statistics were as low as those claimed, it should make no difference to the fundamental principle of justice that the protection of the innocent is far more important than the prosecution of the guilty. It is exactly why the burden of proof should always be on the prosecution.

Protecting the innocent is more important than punishing the guilty

Conclusion

This principle should be engraved into the minds of all those working in the justice system. And it should apply equally to the Court of Appeal. In a just society, acceptance of incorrect verdicts and quashing of wrongful convictions of innocent people should take precedence over the desire to keep the guilty in prison.

And it should also be accepted and admitted that (in addition to other motives) riding on the back of the suffering of genuine victims by making false allegations of sexual assault, whether recent or long past, is not considered out of bounds to unscrupulous people who will go to great lengths to lie and deceive their way to money.

Sadly, there are many people who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse as a child. And anyone with a conscience can only have sympathy with genuine victims of such crimes.

 

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