Jess Phillips says she'd shop her OWN son to police if he was involved in sex assault as parents urged to report kids
LABOUR MP Jess Phillips has said she would shop her own son to the police if he was involved in a sex assault as parents were urged to report their own children.
The shadow Cabinet minister spoke out as a Whitehall probe was launched into Britain's elite schools amid fears of a 'rape culture'.
More than 10,000 reports posted by pupils on a website have exposed the harrowing scale of misogyny, harassment and sexual assault in some schools.
At least 100 schools were named on the the Everyone's Invited site, which was set up by former private-school pupil Soma Sara, 22, to expose 'rape culture' in schools.
Ms Phillips blasted the government for leaving parents "totally rudderless" and said parents should hand in their own children if they suspect them of crimes.
The shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding told Times Radio: "If it is as wide-scale as this website is making clear then there are boys in schools – and it is largely boys – that (parents) need to intervene, including taking their son to the police station.
'RAPE CULTURE' EXPOSED
"If I thought my son, and how I would find out about this I don't know, then, yes, that is absolutely what I would suggest my son should do."
Schools named on Everyone's Invited include Eton College, St Paul's School, Dulwich College, Westminster School and Highgate School.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has branded the allegations as "shocking and abhorrent" amid calls for an inquiry bywatchdog Ofsted.
Ms Phillips said: "I have a 16-year-old son and a 12-year-old son and today I will send them to their local state secondary school and I've been speaking to them about this.
"The reality is that schools, the Government and parents have to look at what is happening over the last couple of weeks, and, in fact many, many years, and look at what they could be doing to make this better."
Meanwhile, police officers are ramping up efforts to crack down on gender-based violence after thousands of online testimonies revealed a 'rape culture '.
Simon Bailey, who leads the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) on child protection, said he had received "in excess of 7,000" reports from people online.
Mr Bailey said the growing school sex scandal has been fuelled by online porn and the sexualisation of women.
Asked how parents should be responding, he told the Today programme: "If parents are aware that their son or their daughter has been a victim of abuse, please come forward and report the abuse.
"Your son or daughter, their account will be believed and we will deal with it appropriately.
"If as a parent you are aware your son has been responsible for a sexual assault then I think you should again be taking your son to the police and saying, 'look I've now become aware that this is what my son has done''.
But Mr Bailey does not believe the issue is "exclusive only to private schools".
When it was put to him if he had concerns that schools had covered up allegations for reputational reasons, Mr Bailey said: "I don't have any evidence for that at the moment, but I think it's a reasonable assumption.
"It's predictable and it's a reasonable assumption that in some cases, and hopefully it's just a few, but in some cases schools will have made the decision just to deal with the allegations internally, rather than reporting them when they actually should have done."
He also warned on the website Everyone's Invited, that "a culture has grown over recent years whereby in the minds of some people it is acceptable to treat young women in particular in a manner that we are now seeing".
if anything is making you feel frightened or so uncomfortable and upset that you’re adjusting your daily life to avoid it, then let us know.
Describing the scale of the investigation, he said: "I believe that in excess of 7,000 people have now put testimonies up online and there are lots and lots of victims that will now be thinking about what has happened to them and having conversations with their parents and others about what to do next."
A Whitehall investigation has been launched into the emerging scandal, with officials from the Department of Education and Home Office leading the response alongside police chiefs and Ofsted.
Government advice on sexual harassment and sexual violence between kids in schools and colleges is also now being revised – and will be in force by the beginning of the next academic year, the Telegraph reports.
Asked about the Prime Minister's thoughts on claims there is a "rape culture" in some schools, the PM's official spokesman said: "We want victims to have the confidence to report crimes and be comforted in knowing that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.
"Given these allegations, a police helpline will be set up in due course to ensure victims can access advice and support where needed and DfE and the Home Office and the NPCC are in contact, with everyone invited to provide support to those who are reporting abuse and to provide advice on contacting the police if they wish."
'WE WANT TO KNOW'
It comes as a Scotland Yard chief urged women who are made to feel “uncomfortable” by wolf-whistling and other forms of harassment to report matters to police.
Louisa Rolfe, an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan police, promised to take all incidents “seriously”, even if they did not constitute a crime.
“I would urge them to report to us,” she said.
“We do take them seriously. While every incident might not have a criminal justice outcome, we want to know about patterns of offending.
“If you said to somebody about wolf-whistling [that they should] report it to police, they might think that’s strange.
"But, actually, if anything is making you feel frightened or so uncomfortable and upset that you’re adjusting your daily life to avoid it, then let us know.”
Rolfe, who leads the force’s strategy on violence against women and girls, made her comments as the force braces itself for criticism from the police watchdog over its handling of the Everard vigil at Clapham Common, south London, on March 13, The Times reports.
She admitted that the recent murder of Sarah Everard and the Met’s heavy-handed tactics at a vigil to mourn her death had resulted in the need to “build confidence” and trust between women and the police.
Cressida Dick, the Met’s first female commissioner, faced calls to resign after images of male officers wrestling women protesters to the ground were published around the world.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, described the scenes as “upsetting” while Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, called them “unacceptable”.
They both asked HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate to see what lessons can be learnt.
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