NationalWorld.com data and investigations editor, Harriet Clugston won the Investigative Journalism prize at the Royal Statistical Society’s (RSS) Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards or her investigation into a justice gap faced by minority ethnic victims of sexual and gendered violence, says the publisher.
Her exclusive investigation, they added, revealed for the first time how Black, Asian and minority ethnic victims of sexual and domestic violence are much less likely to see their abusers charged than white victims. This information is not routinely published and had to be obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to police forces across the UK.
The investigation was later cited by the End Violence Against Women Coalition in evidence submitted to a Home Affairs Committee enquiry into rape.
The RSS said: “This project, through the use of FOI requests, exposed a justice gap with the vast majority of UK police forces having lower charge rates when the victim was from an ethnic minority background.
“This investigation, the first time such cases had been analysed by victim ethnicity, shed light on a considerable data gap within the UK justice systems.
“The panel was impressed with the way in which the data was sourced and used to highlight how such an important issue had been overlooked.”
Harriet said: “I am so delighted and grateful that the RSS has recognised this project. I hope that besides exposing the justice gap victims from minority backgrounds face, the story also spoke to why data gaps matter, and to the importance of the police rigorously collecting information on protected characteristics.
“This is the only way that shortcomings can be identified, and the criminal justice system held accountable.
“Gathering this data was a very difficult and lengthy process – but it’s my hope that in future we’ll see such figures collected, published and reflected on proactively, so it is not left to journalists to hold a mirror up to police failings.”
On the same evening, The Scotsman’s investigations correspondent, Martyn McLaughlin won Local/Regional Journalist of the Year at the Headline Money Awards in recognition of stories including a Freedom of Information-led investigation into US Secret Service payments to Donald Trump's Turnberry firm in Scotland, and an exclusive detailing the UK Government's spending on US law firms and PR specialists as it strived to strike a trade deal with Washington, says National World.
“This in-depth reporting is magnificent,” commented one judge. “Martyn shows why reporting at that intersection of business and politics is becoming ever more important, terriﬁc stuff.” “All the stories were well-written, fresh and original, with exclusive investigative work too,” said another.
Speaking of his award Martyn said: "I'm delighted to have been recognised for my reporting, especially given the quality of the work produced by the other shortlisted journalists."