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Operation Soteria, Betsy Stanko and the Dangers of Ideological Bias

Professor Betsy Stanko

Professor Betsy Stanko OBE was formerly head of evidence and insight in the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime. For over a decade, she worked inside the Mayor’s Office and the London Metropolitan Police Service’s Corporate Development, establishing a social research function alongside performance analysis for improving crime and justice in London.

In an earlier life, Stanko was a professor of criminology, teaching and researching at Clark University (US), Brunel University, Cambridge University and Royal Holloway, and the University of London, where she is an emeritus professor of criminology. She is also a visiting professor at UCL’s Department of Crime Science and Security and City University London’s Sociology Department.

In 2002, she joined government from academia in the Prime Minister’s Office of Public Services Reform. Now the Met’s assistant director of planning and portfolio, Betsy Stanko has said that detectives’ focus on proving lack of consent means the rape of some women, such as those with learning difficulties, 'has effectively been decriminalised' (Bureau of Investigative Journalism). In relation to domestic violence statistics in 2000, Stanko told the BBC: "What this shows is that men in Britain like men around the world also beat their wives. This figures [sic] gives us a sense of a greater committment [sic] to give assistance and support to victims of domestic violence".

Robert Whiston (FRSA) wrote: 'Betsy Stanko, as a relative newcomer to our shores, has rapidly made more than a healthy living in the last 30 years from a very singular view of society. She has risen up among academia and acquired a seat of influence at the round table where policy is made for the entire UK. Feminists, posturing as if the voice of all women have claimed a monopoly on interpersonal abuse for several decades. Now an authoritative publication has blown that concept (and her reputation) asunder'.

Operation Soteria was launched as a response to the government's End-to-End Rape Review, and the Home Office pledge to increase the number of rape cases making it to court. The 'Five Pillars for Improvement' – seeds of which the research team confirmed strongly in their collaborative project in Avon and Somerset – are grounded in what ‘good’ policing practice 'looks like'. These emphasise a suspect-focused investigation; the disruption of and challenging of repeat offenders [sic]; and embedding a systematic procedural justice to victim engagement, as well as academic evidence drawn from a variety of disciplines. For its part, Soteria Solutions have a working relationship with Bath University (located in the picturesque county of Somerset).

One of the questions that is often asked of Project Bluestone/Soteria is how the collaboration between academics and police practitioners has worked, in terms of credibility needed from the police to bring in researchers and provide open access and data to officers. Given the broad and shared interests among so many different groups and stakeholders in England and Wales, who are understandably concerned about the apparent state of justice for rape and serious sexual assault, the project strongly influenced proposed progress for government policy.

So it seems that having 30-plus years in ideological activism will ensure steerage of the incredibly controversial field of hotly contested allegations of rape and sexual assault, and how they should be handled. From one side of his desk Justice Secretary Dominic Raab jettisoned the services of one veteran ideologue in ex-Victims Commissioner Dame Vera Baird, while on the other he signed off on Operation Soteria - which appears to be a Trojan Horse-in-waiting for artificially inflating rape convictions.

Sharing the same mythologically derived name and logo, it's imperative that Raab, Stanko and outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill declare immediately any financial interests the US for-profit company Soteria Solutions has with the UK project. This is in order to forestall claims similar to the alleged manifold wrongful allegations and convictions clogging up the US courts (not to mention also destroying the lives and futures of numerous young men in a society already deeply riven by gender-divide tensions. See Claire Best's articles on the case of Owen Labrie for evidence of this on this website).

When it comes to trial itself, if a jury itself isn't balanced in terms of ideological interests - including demonstrating a true diversity of background - then they must surely be considered prejudicial in these propaganda-drenched times. Wouldn't a bit more neutral objectivity at the top be a better idea, rather than forever pandering to identitarian blackmail from self-declared, identity-obsessed radical 'progressives'?

None of the people that Soteria, Stanko, Hill or Raab reference are 'victims' or 'offenders' until trial verdict is declared, however they might themselves identify or be labelled by the media. There are approximately 65 million victims of something or other in the British Isles alone if that were the case.

We await disclosure of all connections, whether political or financial, between Soteria Solutions, Operation Soteria and those in charge of policy, in order to remove any suspicion from the blatantly metastasizing victimhood industry.

By Sean Bw Parker

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