Yesterday, the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police introduced a new online gateway that will allow victims of sexual assault to access information regarding their cases, Vísir reports. Nearly four hundred such cases are being investigated by the police. There’s long been an appeal for improved service, says the Chief of Police.
A majority have complained of insufficient information
A new service gateway will afford victims of sexual assault who have pressed charges to the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police access to information relating to their cases. The gateway will also offer information regarding available resources and services. Halla Bergþóra Björnsdóttir, Chief of Police, compares the new online resource to Heilsuvera.is: a website that offers educational material relating to diseases, preventive measures, and preemptive strategies “toward a better and more healthful life.”
Speaking to Vísir.is, Halla Bergþóra explained that the new gateway will keep complainants updated on the status of cases, whether or not their cases are being investigated, and if they’ve been handed over to prosecutors. “There is also information regarding what you may expect, in terms of an outcome and how long the investigation is expected to take.”
“We’ve conducted numerous surveys among victims of sexual assault,” Halla Bergþóra continued. “75% of respondents are pleased with the service that the police provides, but at the same time, 88% have complained that they didn’t receive adequate information regarding the processing of their cases.”
The service gateway is an experimental project that in its initial iteration will only be available to victims of sexual assault in the Greater Reykjavík Area. According to Halla Bergþóra, the aim is to offer the same service in other jurisdictions and in other crime categories in the near future.
“If all goes well, we hope to provide a similar service to individuals who have pressed charges in other categories of the law, as well.”
With increased cases, increased processing time
As noted by Halla Bergþóra, the investigative phase of sexual assault cases are often time consuming; the processing time has lengthened as cases have increased and as the police authorities aim to improve the quality of investigations. The authorities are also short on staff. In light of this, Halla explained, it’s important to allow victims of sexual assault to monitor the status of their cases.
“There are 255 sexual assault cases currently being investigated. And then we have the prosecutorial department, and other departments, so I think there are about 370 cases in total.
The gateway can be accessed here.