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Thames Valley Police must do better

And follow the evidence of their own eyes ...

By Claire Loneragan

We’ve all seen the crime dramas. The police are always evidence driven because when they’re not, they get investigated by AC-12. Until they do Stonewall training and then, it seems, evidence no longer counts for much – not even the evidence of their own eyes.

Here they are  on 9 February claiming that a woman has been charged with sexual offences in Witney, but does anyone take these claims at face value anymore?

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to entertain the suspicion that Osareen Omoruyi, aged 51, is not a woman. He’s a man. Of course he is. Even Lestrade would have got there quicker than Thames Valley Police who have yet to figure it out 3 weeks later.

They could have checked out his FaceBook page as @ripx4nutmeg did, or just considered the facts of the crime. But they remain, instead, resolutely puzzled.

Thank goodness for the police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, Matthew Barber, giving them a lead. But come on, BBC, the PCC holding his force to account is not really the story, is it? That is literally his job, after all.

Women and girls deserve better

This, like too many similar crimes, is a manifestation of violence against women and girls.

How’s that going? Not great.

The Guardian reported only last month that Thames Valley Police treated a woman held in custody with a distinct lack of respect. A vulnerable woman who was having a seizure and who, it later transpired, had been wrongly arrested and was in fact a victim of crime.

Thames Valley police officers, who are still employed by the force, made … “sickening” comments as they watched footage from body cameras showing the woman’s groin and chest area exposed.

Women are not even safe in Thames Valley police stations much less on the streets, but we only know about this case because it was shared by a whistle-blower. How many other women have found themselves on the wrong side of Thames Valley officers? We don’t know.

But we do know that the College of Policing chose not to make sex a monitored characteristic for hate crime, and as a result Thames Valley Police don’t include women’s groups in their Independent Advisory Groups.

This is particularly relevant for the National Police Chiefs Council transgender search policy which was enthusiastically implemented by Thames Valley. That commitment to “the safety, trust and confidence of women in the Thames Valley area” doesn’t include consulting women on whether we have a problem with being searched by men claiming to be female police officers.

Thames Valley Police requires improvement

His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary was underwhelmed by their performance too and found that Thames Valley requires improvement in most areas. It’s particularly damning that Thames Valley is inadequate when it comes to protecting vulnerable people. Including women and girls.

Force demographics suggest that Thames Valley Police isn’t an attractive employer for women either. Their latest available Gender Pay Gap report (2020-21) reveals that the median pay of male employees is nearly 20% higher than that for female employees.

Hardly an end-of-term score card to be proud of.

Significant data is being corrupted

And in news that will surprise precisely nobody, we now know that Scarlet Blake – the man whose obscene crimes were attributed to a woman by media outlets across the board – has had those crimes officially recorded as having been committed by a woman. Thames Valley Police strike again with another evidence free decision.

Jackie Malton (the real Jane Tennison of Prime Suspect fame) knows all about misogyny in the police and recognises it when she sees it. And who is driving it.

The resulting distortion of crime statistics isn’t trivial either, because, although men who claim to be women only make up a tiny percentage of the male prison population, they would be a much more significant percentage of the female prison population.

For the ten-year period from end of June 2014 to end of June 2023, a total of 3,228 defendants were convicted of murder in England and Wales, but only 187 were women because murder is an overwhelmingly male crime. One male convicted of murder but recorded as a female pushes female murder convictions up by around 5 per cent for that year while reducing male convictions by only 0.3 percent. It would take 15 additional male murder convictions to push the male rate up by five per cent for a year.

Take the blinkers off, Thames Valley

Police forces, the NPCC, and the College of Policing must be made to explain where this slavish requirement to respect self-ID of a person’s sex has come from. I dare say plenty of those who have had their collars felt identified as innocent, but no copper has ever responded with “Sorry mate, my mistake. Do you need a lift home?” It’s only those obviously false claims to be the opposite sex that are accepted at face value.  

One thing is clear. If Thames Valley Police continue to allow the gender lobby to so wilfully blindfold them, their shiny new policy to protect women and girls from male violence is doomed to fail.   



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