Human Rights affect every one of us and it means that authorities are expected to uphold policies and laws in place that protect them. Last week, the Met police lost an appeal against victims of the serial rapist, John Worboys, a man who is suspected of raping more than 100 women. Reported by Rights Info, two women took the Met to court claiming human rights breaches.

John Worboys was a taxi driver who began a series of rapes in 2002 and continued up until 2008. He was convicted in 2009, 6 years after the first victim reported him in 2003.

Human rights breached

In 2014, the high court agreed that the police breached human rights by failing to properly investigate the claims of two women. In 2017 they lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court but on the 21st February, the claim was unanimously rejected. This was after two of the victims went to the police, the Met failed to investigate properly and when they appealed the High Court decision, they argued that they shouldn’t be held accountable.

But the ruling of the Supreme Court is important because what the police and Home Office attempted to argue was that it was sufficient to have policies in place but don’t have to follow those policies. It was effectively arguing that the state is not responsible for the safety of its citizens in the case of rape.

But the Supreme Court has held the police to account over the defence of human rights.

Human rights are an important part of our society and if the government themselves are failing to protect its citizens from cases such as rape then it is detrimental to society itself. Protection of human rights is vitally important to a cohesive society as it sets the bar on how the government treats the people of the country.

The victory here is important because it holds those responsible for basic protections to account for their failings. But there is also an issue here that the Home Office is trying to absolve the police of this basic responsibility by appealing the decision in the first place.

There should be no fears for anyone in the public to go to the police and report cases of assault.

Therefore, the decision by the Supreme Court is important. It helps create an environment that gives people the knowledge that it is safe to come forward and that their story will be taken seriously. The problem is that recently the police have had to announce that they can no longer afford the resources to tackle minor crimes due to cuts by the government. This could negatively affect its ability to investigate crimes such as assault effectively despite the policies being in place.