The Guardian view on John Worboys’ release: verdict on a system in crisis | Editorial

From the police investigation to the prosecution and now the parole board decision, this is a case choreographed to frighten victims of sex crimesThe release of the “black cab” rapist John Worboys, a man who drugged, sexually assaulted and raped perhaps as many as 200 women is incomprehensible. It is shocking. It is one more unbelievable development in a case already marked out by historic levels of cruel incompetence.

At every turn, decisions have been taken that might have been choreographed to demean his victims and diminish every woman’s faith in the system. First there was the litany of errors by the Metropolitan police investigation. The willingness to disbelieve his accusers, and to believe him was accompanied by an incompetence that rendered evidence inadmissible and left obvious connections unexamined. Dozens of women may have been assaulted or raped because the police missed chances to stop him. This disaster was compounded by the most callous disregard for his victims; an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission reported officers lying to and laughing at victims. Some of them were on a squad set up to create a safe environment for the reporting of rape. The IPCC recommended no disciplinary action.

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