HAMPSHIRE Constabulary has “spoken to” but not arrested a man accused of secretly recording a young woman in Festival Place on Saturday afternoon.

The woman said she was left feeling “violated” after she confronted the man and found “absolutely disgusting” videos of her and other women on his phone.

Under the Voyeurism Act 2019, it is illegal to take inappropriate images of others for sexual gratification.

While the exact details of this case remain to be seen and individuals are innocent until proven guilty, public faith in the police to take action against sexual predators has never been lower.

Too often are the words “released pending investigation” peddled out by Hampshire Constabulary.

And too often, these investigations never seem to amount to anything. A teenager was raped at Stratton Park in 2019. Two years on, we have seen no arrests and no convictions.

New data published this week shows that less than five per cent of rape investigations in Hampshire result in a charge.

The force dropped 1,647 investigations in the past year due to difficulties gathering evidence and binned 194 investigations because they couldn't find the suspect.

Meanwhile, Hampshire Constabulary charged a suspect in just six per cent of sexual offences in 2020-21. 

These woeful figures send the message to victims that even after enduring violating, life-changing crimes, they have little chance of justice. 

And to criminals, terrifyingly the picture suggests that they are free to offend with little to no risk of prosectuion.  

It is high time that Hampshire Constabulary steps up and proves to the public and its residents that as a force, it takes sexual offences seriously. 

Because currently, their track record says otherwise. 

Katie French, Editor