Boston police are reviewing their public notification policy on rape cases, reports the city’s Globe. When a woman was raped and beaten by a stranger in the parking garage of the Radisson hotel, police asked the company to stay quiet about the attack, saying publicity “could compromise their chance to catch the individual,” according to a hotel spokesman. Police arrested a suspect in the rape, but only 11 days later, after a second victim was attacked in similarly violent fashion in the same garage.
Now, the Police Department is reconsidering its policy about how much information should be released to the public about sexual assaults. “I think that we will go back and determine whether we should have done things differently,” said Elaine Driscoll, a police spokeswoman. Police departments have no uniform guidelines about releasing warnings to the public about a sexual predator. In Dallas, police alert the media when there is a pattern of three attacks or more or when a rape is particularly vicious. In Houston, police weigh whether releasing such information will help them catch the perpetrator and keep the public safe. Philadelphia police said they issue electronic bulletins to the media every time a woman reports being raped by someone she says she did not know.