Sex Crimes Omitted in SF Reports to the Media

first_imgThis is the second part of a two-part series exploring what happens after victims of sexual battery report an incident to police. You can read Part 1 here.Margot Kenney was followed to her home by a stranger and groped. The man fled when she shouted and fought back. Jennifer Tickes was snatched from a Mission street one morning last October and carried down the block before managing to escape. Hillary Lannan was on her way home from a bar last year when she was approached from behind and thrown to the ground, where her assailants tugged at the strap of her bag before groping her and then fleeing. Meredith Yayanos heard a woman screaming outside her apartment in early August, and raced outside to find a woman who had been followed, grabbed by the crotch, and thrown against the wall. All reported their cases to the police, but the fact that anyone was assaulted never made it to the public — except when the women individually contacted reporters or used social media —  because the San Francisco Police Department’s policy is to keep sexual assaults and rapes off of its daily crime reports.  It does so, according to SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan, to protect the privacy of the victims. Some jurisdictions and advocates, however, argue that the daily reports are already anonymized and wonder if more public awareness of sex crimes would help prevention and increase arrest rates.   As it stands, the media policy on sex crimes means that looking at local media coverage fails to reveal the 66 cases of sexual battery that were reported to Mission Station between April 2013 and April 2015. Of those 66, 15 led to arrests and nine suspects were ultimately charged. An extract of sexual assault data from CrimeMapping information. By Cristiano ValliIn San Francisco, if police have a basic description from the victim, like height, weight, age, and race in a sexual assault case, it’s unavailable except by specific request. Press releases about sexual assault suspects are only sent out when the suspect information is detailed enough to create a sketch, or when photo or video of the suspect surfaces. Otherwise, the assault becomes another tally in the weekly crime statistics, with no explanation of what happened.  Robberies, stabbings, and shootings, however, are reported with details about how and where the crimes occurred.  A bare-bones suspect description is also included. Interpreting the LawOakland’s police department also omits sexual assaults from its reports to the media. This redaction is “to preserve the integrity of ongoing investigations and to protect victims as required by law,” according to the department’s site. That law is Government Code 6254, a state law which ensures that the names and identifying information of victims of sensitive crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are not revealed. Police departments, however,  interpret the law differently, according to the Davis Police Department, which does include descriptions of sexual assaults in their crime recaps. They also sometimes release general locations. Berkeley’s police department no longer issues a crime report to the media, but includes all of its crimes including sexual assaults on its call for service log.  Reporters then call with the case numbers to get more information. Jennifer Coates, a public information officer for the department, said the police try to be careful about releasing information that could tip off a repeat offender that the victim went to the police. “We don’t want people to be revictimized,” she said, “but we also try to balance the community’s need of knowing what’s going on, and I think that’s why we at least try to have the log so that people know that certain crimes have occurred.” Jim Dudley, a lecturer at San Francisco State Univeristy and former police captain of Park Station, sad that while officers would have to take care not to publish any information that could identify the victim, an informed public can be helpful in preventing crimes.“When I wrote a newsletter where I was a captain, my number one priority would be to arm the residents with knowledge of incidents happening where there was still an outstanding suspects,” he said. “So if I was a captain of a station where there were three sexual batteries where there were still an outstanding suspect, I’d want to put that out there.”Still, however, the San Francisco police department says that it has always been policy to keep sexual assault and rape crimes out of the recap of crimes that it sends to the media. Finding the NumbersRapes are tallied in the department’s mandatory CompStat reports, but information about sexual battery is difficult to obtain in San Francisco in part because records are kept inconsistently across different record types – in printed, handwritten and electronic forms.SFPD’s Officer Gatpandan said this happens for a number of reasons.  Investigators can choose how they keep their own case files.  They can also decide when to file supplemental reports.  Some prefer to hand write the reports because the standardized electronic records lack the “human element” and details necessary for proper crime tallying and analysis.As a result, Ed Santos, acting captain of the SFPD Special Victims Unit, commented that “digging into our system is never easy.”He also explained that  the police department’s crime analysis section is relatively new. “So it takes a lot of giving them specifics to what you’re looking for and hoping that they will be able to give you what you’re asking,” Santos said. Janelle White, director of San Francisco Women Against Rape,  has also observed the police struggling with legacy systems.“It’s funny, for San Francisco, you would think that tech would be something that might be more advanced than in other counties, other states,” she said. “It feels like that would be something that in general would make the lives of the officers and inspectors better … to be able to track numbers and communicate with officials in the police department and the community.” Tags: crimes • Mission Police Station • sexual violence Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Nor did police pass on to local media reports of the 67 rapes reported to Mission Station in a two-year period between April of 2012 and 2014 (more recent data have not been released). Citywide, there were 355 cases of rape in 2014, up from 161 in 2013. “I think it’s horrifying that these assaults are happening on a regular basis and there’s no watermark left behind,” said  Yayanos, who witnessed the assault near her home and has herself been aggressively sexually harassed. “I understand the necessity for keeping things confidential and keeping people from being violated a second time, but there’s got to be some middle ground, there’s got to be some solution.”Some jurisdictions do include these assaults in reports to the media. In Arlington, VA, for example, Public information officer Dustin Sternbeck said the department recently received tips and social media input from the public that have helped identify a suspect in a two-week spree of four sexual assaults on women walking alone at night. But in San Francisco, sexual assaults are omitted from reports made available to the media and the public.Crime Mapping, an online mapping service that partners with many local police departments to show an interactive map of calls for service, includes sexual assault, but no description of what happened to prompt the call. The map also includes calls reporting sexual assaults where officers arrived at the scene to find the victim had disappeared, no evidence of an assault, or where the victim retracted the report. In the Mission, the map also includes all the reports made at San Francisco General Hospital, but happened elsewhere. 0%last_img read more

SAINTS have secured the services of two products o

first_imgSAINTS have secured the services of two products of its successful Academy system.Anthony Walker and Jordan Hand have both made their debuts this season.And the Club has rewarded them with new contracts; Walker agreeing a two-year deal and Hand a year’s extension.Nathan Brown, Saints Head Coach, said: “Both are young home-grown players who have come through the system.“Anthony has played regularly, come into the team and done well. We’re pleased with how he has adapted to the consistency of first grade rugby league – not that he didn’t have the talent in the first place.“Jordan has also made one appearance this season and as the months and years progress he will get better. He is a tough kid.”He continued: “They are natural players, not manufactured, and have come through a good system. They have had a good education from a young age and understand the game very well.“As long as they train very hard in the years down the track they should develop into good long-term players for the club. Now they have to work really hard and keep their feet on the ground.”Anthony Walker, 21, is a forward who has come through the Academy to feature five times for Saints so far in 2013.He is a strong running prop who is capable of playing loose forward.His ‘pack’ teammate Jordan Hand is a 19-year-old no nonsense forward who signed from Bold Miners.Walker is now contracted until 2015 with Hand until the end of season 2014.last_img read more

Neighbors annoyed with Belvedere water conditions

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — What if you woke up every day, unsure if you could use your water? It’s a problem residents in one Hampstead neighborhood have dealt with for months.“When you can’t take a shower or you can’t brush your teeth, it’s not healthy,” Georgia Curry said.- Advertisement – Curry has rented a home in the Belvedere neighborhood in Hampstead since May. She never expected to deal with the water issues and wishes she didn’t.“If I had known about it before we signed a lease, then I might have have thought twice about living here,” Curry said.These water issues date back about six months, according to some neighbors. Some long time residents say this never used to be a problem.Related Article: Science panel: Health goal for chemical in water is right“I think we all get up in the morning, at least I do, just assuming the water is going to be good, and then you discover on certain days at certain times that it’s brown, and it leads to some staining,” Peter Grant said.“For the past four or five months, the water issues have been coming up. Before that we really didn’t have too many problems. Water has been dirty, and you get a phone call after you take a shower in the dirty water,” Peter Loftus said.Phone calls from Carolina Water Service of North Carolina, warning customers not to use the water. The continued problems are why many neighbors cannot fathom a proposed price rate hike.“Sure we’re getting water, but it’s the quality of water. I don’t mind paying more if I have good quality water and uninterrupted service, but you’re trying to charge me more and you’re giving me less,” Curry said.The state utilities commission will decide on whether to approve a rate increase after holding a hearing in late August.Carolina Water Service of North Carolina spokeswoman, Deborah Clark, says there are issues because…”significant investment is needed throughout North Carolina- more than $20 billion, to replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure, including drinking water pipes, wastewater collection pipes and wastewater treatment facilities.”last_img read more

Circle K robbed again officials investigating

first_img The suspect was wearing a blue hoodie on with the sleeve pulled over his hand implying he had a gun.He left on foot towards Oakley Rd. He is described as a black male in his 30’s, wearing a blue hoodie.K-9 and SABLE assisted in the search and the investigation is ongoing.Related Article: Trial: Murder suspect tested positive for drugs following crashThe same Circle K was robbed on December 2nd.If you have any information, contact authorities or use Text-A-Tip. CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery that occurred Friday night.A man entered the Circle K gas station on 3053 Castle Hayne Rd. around 11:30 p.m. and demanded cash.- Advertisement – last_img

CFPUA customer service phone lines reopened

first_img(Photo: CFPUA) WILMINGTON, NC (Press Release) — Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) is reopening our Customer Service phone line Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. to help our ratepayers with service and account-related questions.CFPUA customers can resume calling our Customer Service number at (910) 332-6550 and speak with our staff about their services and accounts.- Advertisement – CFPUA’s Administrative Offices remain closed. Customers cannot visit our Customer Service locations to ask questions, set up services, or make payments at this time.CFPUA has extended our waiver of all disconnections and late fees. The grace period, which began on September 11, will now run until further notice.CFPUA’s Web-based payment portal remains offline. Customers may either speak with a Customer Service representative or use our Interactive Voice Response system by calling (910) 332-6550.Related Article: NC soldier returns from Florence relief, finds house ransackedCustomers reporting water or sewer emergencies should NOT call the Customer Service number. Report a water or sewer emergency or a water quality concern by calling (910) 332-6565.CFPUA’s Sweeney and Richardson plants continue to produce drinking water under normal operations and the fuel concerns reported Monday morning have been fully resolved.last_img read more

BBQ part of relief package in Wilmington

first_img(Photo: Operation BBQ Relief) WILMINGTON, NC (AP) — A Missouri-based organization is bringing a traditional North Carolina staple to areas trying to recover from the former Hurricane Florence.Operation BBQ Relief said in a statement Tuesday that it had deployed its group of barbecue enthusiasts to Wilmington and Fayetteville to support recovery efforts by providing hot meals to displaced residents and first responders.- Advertisement – Bitty and Beau’s Coffee posted on Facebook that founder Amy and Ben Wright were instrumental in bringing them to Wilmington.WWAY has been told the crew has set up in the old Kmart parking lot in Wilmington on College Road.Related Article: The debate continues after protesters topple Confederate statueThe organization says the Wilmington and Fayetteville deployment locations are capable of producing up to 50,000 meals per day.The organization was established in 2011 following a devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Since then, the organization has deployed to disasters including South Carolina flooding in 2016 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017.last_img read more

Trio rescued from Cape Fear River after boat dies in cold rough

first_imgThree people were rescued from Cape Fear River on Jan. 21, 2019. (Photo: Leland Fire/Rescue) LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Three people were rescued after their boat died while on the Cape Fear River Monday morning, according to Leland Fire and Rescue.Fire/Rescue Chief John Grimes said the trio called for help and instead of making them wait for a tow, they made a decision to get them out of the frigid weather and rough water conditions.- Advertisement – The incident happened around 10 a.m. Monday. After being rescued from the disabled boat, the three were taken to the Belville boat ramp.No injured were reported.last_img

Emerys Arsenal reign starts with defeat

first_imgThe expectations of Arsenal supporters were dealt a blow after their side, led by new coach Unai Emery, suffered a home defeat against Manchester City. The reigning English Premier League champions went ahead after 14 minutes thanks to a wonderful shot by Raheem Sterling that goalkeeper Petr Cech failed to save.The Arsenal goalkeeper made numerous saves in both halves to halt Manchester City from adding more goals but could not stop Bernardo Silva from scoring in the 64th minute with a left-footed strike after Benjamin Mendy had provided the decisive pass.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Conmen Target Facebook Users in Uganda

first_imgAdvertisement “I don’t know because even this morning I signed into my account. How do they do it?” he said when asked if he was aware of the hackers.The conman asked Mr Mwanguhya to transfer Shs60,000 using mobile money to his friend Martin Mugisha in Kampala, on the mobile phone number 0789457629.“Bro, I have someone clearing some important documents for me DHL, need u to help me and send him 60,000 urgently thru mobile money. I am going to refund it as soon as am done here. I will cater for the charges,” reads the conman’s request. – Advertisement – UCC unawareHowever, Mr Mwanguhya didn’t send the money because he was aware of the fraud. He had been tipped off by a similar trick that was revealed on Facebook by his colleague Ms Among who had met a similar conman.The one who contacted Ms Among attempted to con her of Shs220,000.Mr Fred Otunnu, an official with the Uganda Communications Commission, the regulator of the communications industry, said they were not aware of the on-going scam.Source : allAfrica.comlast_img read more

Kenya Electronic Voting Still Six Years Away

first_imgAdvertisement Mr James Oswago, the IIEC chief executive officer, said the country would not yet implement electronic voting but would instead procure a platform for electronic voter registration for next year’s elections in which voters will cast ballots for at least six candidates in various levels of government.“We are not yet ready for electronic voting in 2012 mainly because there is a lot of civic education to be done to the public and politicians,” said Mr Oswago.“Any application of technology must increase administrative efficiency, reduce long-term costs and enhance political transparency. In the end, elections are about choices expressed in terms of results and those results acquire legitimacy only through unanimous or widespread acceptance”. – Advertisement – Several hurdles must be overcome before the system can be put to use, not the least of which is civic education for the electorate and politicians.IIEC has already been granted Sh15 billion for the year ending June 2012 which it said includes a budget for procuring the electronic voter registration platform, carrying out civic education and training its officers on how to use the equipment.The pursuit of technological innovations is informed by the report of the Independent Review Commission (Kriegler Commission) which found that the register used in the 2007 general elections was “materially defective”, still bearing the names of over 1.2 million deceased persons.There were also delays in tallying, recording, transcribing and transmission of results; shortcomings which have been cited as some of the factors that contributed to the explosive political climate.Electronic voter registration, which was piloted in 18 constituencies-involving about 1.5 million voters – entails the capturing the voter’s biometric features; a facial image and fingerprint.Source: allafrica newslast_img read more