The Supreme Court today dismissed an appeal by the Metropolitan Police over a case brought by two victims of ‘black cab rapist’ John Worboys.

In Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (applicant) v DSD and another (respondents), the Supreme Court considered the extent to which article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights imposes a positive obligation on states to investigate reported crimes. 

Law firm Birnberg Peirce issued proceedings on behalf of the two victims in 2011. The High Court and Court of Appeal held that a positive obligation to investigate did exist and that the obligation, in this case, had been breached. The victims were awarded compensation.

Following today’s Supreme Court ruling, Harriet Wistrich of Birnberg Peirce, said: ‘This is a historic judgment that finally determines the police are not immune from legal action where they fail victims of crime. It reminds us that the Human Rights Act is a powerful tool in defending the rights of victims and we must fight government proposals to repeal it.’

Separately, the two victims are challenging, via judicial review, the Parole Board’s decision to release Worboys. A full hearing will take place on 13 and 14 March.