A female prisoner who says she was sexually assaulted by a male inmate has filed a legal challenge against government policy which allows men who say they are women to share women’s prisons.
The woman was later moved to a different prison, only to find that the man, who had been imprisoned for rape, had also moved there.
It has also been revealed that some police forces are recording rapists as female if they identify as the opposite sex.
The unnamed prisoner aims to launch a judicial review against a policy which allows men who have been convicted of violent or sexual offences against women to live in female-only prisons.
Her challenge says, “there has been at least one other high-profile case of a convicted sex offender being moved into the female prison estate on the basis of their gender self-identification, and that prisoner having gone on to sexually assault female prisoners”.
She also highlights one women’s jail, where high-risk male inmates who are supposed to be separated from women are able to mix with them during some prison activities.
In response to a freedom of information request, six police forces in England and Wales said a man suspected or convicted of rape would be officially recorded as female if he asked to be identified as so.
A further five did not specify their policy regarding rapists but confirmed they would generally record a person’s sex according to their request.
Nicola Williams, director of Fair Play for Women, who submitted the requests, said: “You can’t get much more of a male crime than rape. It would be highly offensive to a woman who was raped to have it written down that her attacker was a female”.
The National Police Chief’s Council said, “How gender is recorded is a matter for each individual force. However, as a general rule we will accept the details that an individual provides us and treat them accordingly.”