Diane welcomes new rape crisis centres but urges Boris to bring one to Hackney

Diane Abbott welcomed Boris Johnson’s announcement of opening more rape crisis centres in London, but urged him to open one in Hackney.

Abbott cites the spate of gang rapes in the borough, which has one of the highest numbers of reported cases in London.

Currently there is only one remaining Rape Crisis Centre in the whole of London. That’s one small centre for 7.9 million people. One centre, 12 counsellors and a helpline open 5 hours a day. The waiting list for peak-time appointments is nearly a year and less than a quarter of calls to their helpline can be answered.

The mayors’ announcement has come after a long campaign for him to make good on his election promise to allocate £2.23m in funding over 3 years, which he has slashed by £1.4m.

Hackney will work with other boroughs including Barking & Dagenham, Newham, Havering, and Waltham Forest in a partnership lead by Redbridge to establish a centre in the east of London

Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said: With incidences of gang rape rising to appalling levels, I feel there is an urgent need for a centre to be based here in Hackney where gang rape is a real issue.

“Many gang rapes are carried out by criminal gangs which means victims are often reluctant to go to the police. Rape crisis centres provide the help and support victims need without having to go to the police, and this provision is badly needed in my borough”.

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