Saturday 22 October 2016

Lily Allen accuses Met of 'victim-shaming' after speaking out on stalking case

Published 19/04/2016 | 19:11

Lily Allen has accused the police of
Lily Allen has accused the police of "victim-shaming"

Lily Allen has accused the police of "victim-shaming" her after she spoke out about being dissatisfied with their response to her stalking case.

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In an interview with BBC Newsnight, the singer read out an email she had received from a Met officer who said that the "high-profile" nature of her claims could discourage other victims from coming forward.

She told presenter Kirsty Wark: "I think it's victim-shaming and victim-blaming."

Allen, 30, revealed her seven-year ordeal at the hands of stalker Alex Gray, also 30, in an interview with The Observer on Sunday where she detailed the time he had burst into her home while she and her children were sleeping, had threatened to stab her through the face and spent nights hiding in her garden.

She claimed that investigators had treated her as a "nuisance rather than a victim", had destroyed evidence that supported her case, taken away a panic alarm after a few months and even refused to allow her to see and then keep a photo of her stalker.

After the interview, the mother-of-two said she received an email from a Met officer wanting to "understand what - if anything - went wrong during the investigation" while suggesting Allen's response would dissuade other victims from reporting stalkers.

It read: "As you know there have been press reports suggesting you were dissatisfied with the response you received.

"Further, due to the high-profile of this matter, I fear other victims of similar crimes have read the story and now may not have the confidence in us to support such matters.

"As such, it is really important I can understand what - if anything -went wrong during the investigation.

"I was saddened to hear of this report, I would like to heard your views on what we could do better."

Gray was charged with burglary after he broke into Allen's bedroom in October last year while she was sleeping and screamed at her before stealing her handbag.

He was also charged with harassment after she hired her own lawyer to pursue the matter, although the stalking count reportedly did not cover anything before 2015.

He was convicted at Harrow Crown Court this month and will be sentenced in May.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they take stalking and harassment "extremely seriously".

Allen's full interview will be broadcast on BBC Newsnight at 22.30 on BBC Two and available later on BBC iPlayer.

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