16th Nov, 2019

Rapes on rise while the number of charges falls

Rob George 31st Aug, 2019

WEST Mercia Police recorded more than 1,100 cases of rape in the 12 months to March 31, 2018.

Of these the Ministry of Justice reported that just 94 rape suspects were proceeded against in this period and of these, 30 offenders were found guilty.

In this same period, West Mercia received 265 rape reports that were not recorded as a crime, it transferred 13 rape offences to other police forces and cancelled 21 rape offences.

The shock figures are revealed in a report by the Rape Monitoring Group of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

They show, nationwide, an increase in the number of rapes reported and a decrease in the number of people being charged with rape.

At a national level the data shows:

The overall charge rate has decreased compared to the previous year, from 6.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent.

The overall number of reported rapes has increased compared to the previous year, from 41,186 to 54,045.

The number of incidents of rape which were not recorded as crimes has increased compared to the previous year, from 8,624 to 11,913.

The number of cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision has decreased compared to the previous year from 6,606 to 6,012.

West Mercia’s Police Crime Commissioner John Campion said charges were being brought in more cases in West Mercia compared to the rest of the country, but there was still much more to be done.

“It’s important that victims of rape get the right specialist support through the police and other agencies,” he said.

“Whilst the increase in reporting is encouraging, as it shows an increased confidence from victims coming forward, I am committed to keeping this a priority ensuring police are backed with the resources to tackle complex cases and bring offenders to justice.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams, who chaired the group, said: “Rape is one of the most serious crimes dealt with by the criminal justice system.

“It is therefore vital that information and statistics about rape are made as transparent as possible, so that agencies can refine prevention strategies and give victims the justice they deserve.

“Today’s data gives crucial information about how incidents of rape are processed by the criminal justice system, providing detailed numbers and figures.

“We hope it will help police, prosecutors, and the entire system, to improve their work to provide justice for victims, convict the guilty and do all they can to prevent this most heinous of crimes.”

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