After section 3

Part of Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:15 pm on 6th March 2002.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party 3:15 pm, 6th March 2002

My starting point is the fact that the reporting of rape is abysmally low and the conviction rate is even lower. I make it clear that I speak on my own behalf and on no one else's—including my party's.

The fact that an alleged accused is named has an impact on a victim. Roseanna Cunningham mentioned the fact that, in a small community, it is perfectly possible—in fact, it is likely—that, if an accused is named, the victim is named at the same time through the gossip-mongering that takes place. That is because most rapists are known to their victim. That is a cold, hard and fast fact.

However, I say to Phil Gallie that stage 3 is an awfully late point at which to lodge such a controversial amendment. I would like to hear a lot of evidence and solicit a lot of advice from people who know much more than I ever will about the matter. For that reason, I advise members to vote against amendment 10.