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Charity: Huge disparities in how police handle rape cases

Charity Rape Crisis England said that releasing data on rape cases reflected a commitment to transparency and scrutiny of police practice.

Spokeswoman Katie Russell said: "Nonetheless, Rape Crisis is still extremely concerned by the persistently high levels of 'no-criming' today's data reveals, as well as by the huge disparities in statistics between different police forces."

This leaves us wondering how many more reports it will take before we see a real and marked improvement in criminal justice for rape survivors.

– Charity Rape Crisis England spokeswoman Katie Russell

She said that the figures show that little has changed since a 2012 report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which highlighted concerns around inconsistent and inadequate recording and investigating of sexual offences.

Report: Wide disparities in reporting and detection of rape

Lincolnshire Police had the highest "no-criming" rate for adult rapes - that is, an offence initially recorded as rape, but then declassified - at 33%, compared with Cumbria, which had the lowest no-criming rate at 3%. The average no-criming rate is 12%.

: "The wide disparities between different areas' reporting, detection and 'no crime' rates may indicate that the culture of scepticism remains in some police forces.

"This is not a surprise to us. Our member organisations know how deep disbelief and victim-blaming goes in institutions and communities.

"But the police play a critical role enabling rape survivors to access justice, so these disparities and attitudes must be urgently tackled."

– Professor Liz Kelly, chair of the End Violence Against Women coalition.

Rape charities and women's rights groups said data, which was pulled together for the first time by the cross-Government, multi-agency Rape Monitoring Group (RMG), revealed disparities and attitudes which must be "urgently tackled".


Fears of a 'culture of disbelief' in rape cases

A postcode lottery in the way rape cases are handled by police has been highlighted by figures showing wide variations between forces across England and Wales, it is claimed.

The average is 22 rapes recorded per 100,000 adults. Credit: Peter Jordan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Differences in the rate of recorded rapes, charges or cautions for the offence and records later declassified as a "no-crime" incident have raised fears of a "culture of disbelief" among some of the 43 forces covered by the data.

Among key contrasts, Northamptonshire Police had the highest rate of recorded rape at 34.8 per 100,000 adults in the year to March 2013, while Durham Police had the lowest at 9.8 per 100,000 adults. The average is 22 rapes recorded per 100,000 adults.

Police: Rape 'unique to how it affects each victim'

Martin Hewitt began a week long rape awareness campaign in the hopes more victims will come forward. Credit: DaybreakITV

Rape and sex crimes are "unique" in the "way that it affects the victim" and their individual needs, a senior police officer told Daybreak.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt spoke about how forces up and down the country needed to be more proactive in their approach to policing rape.

There were some measures already in place, he explained: "We put training in place to make sure that everyone who potentially comes into contact with that person has the knowledge to put them to the specialist."

Reporting of sex crimes up by 9%

More victims of sex crimes are coming forward to report them to the police, a group of police chiefs have said.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said the increase was the largest rise since the current system of recording standards in policing was introduced.

According to ACPO:

  • In 2012/13, 3,692 rape prosecutions were brought with 63.2% of these cases resulting in convictions.
  • This was a 5.5% increase from 2008/9.
  • The public debate about sex offences, particularly non recent child abuse, may have been responsible for this increase.

Police chief urges forces to do more to prevent rape

Police forces in England and Wales should do more to prevent rape rather than just react to reports of sex crimes, a senior police officer has said.

A more proactive approach is needed to tackle rape, a senior police officer has said. Credit: PA

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said forces have been too "reactive" and more should be done to prevent the crimes.

He also encouraged police be more "honest" with victims about the difficulties of securing a conviction.

His comments come at the start of a week-long campaign to encourage rape victims to come forward.


Victims of rape urged to report incidents to police

The actress, who herself was the victim of rape 19 years ago, says much more support and help is now available and is urging people to come forward.

Campaign for more female advisers for rape victims

Reveal Magazine and charity Rape Crisis are calling on the government to devote more funding for independent female advisers to help rape victims through the legal process.

In their survey, 86 percent of respondents said they believed this would help more victims come forwards,

Currently, Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVA) fulfil this role, but campaigners believe there need to be more of them.

A quarter of victims 'doubt rapist will ever be convicted'

A survey of 1,000 adult women in the UK found that 16 percent of respondents said they have had sex against their will. Of these:

  • Only 78% did not report it to police
  • 26% did not think there was a strong chance of prosecution
  • 18% did not think there was enough support from the legal system to help them through the process

The latest national figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate that only 16% of the 95,000 rapes that occur in the UK annually are reported, and that only 1% of these end in a conviction.

You can get help and confidential advice from the National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999

Survey: Only one in five rape victims report to police

As few as one in five rape victims ever report it to the police, according to a new survey.

In a poll of 1,000 adult women in the UK, 16 percent of respondents said they have had sex against their will, either with someone they know or a stranger.

Of these, 78 percent said they did not report it, either because they were scared by what people would think of them, or because they thought there was not enough evidence.

The study was conducted by Reveal Magazine and supported by Rape Crisis, who are campaigning for more independent female advisors to support rape victims through the legal process.

You can get help and confidential advice from the National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999

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