Police force figures on rape made public for first time

Published on Friday, 31 January 2014 09:47
Written by Daniel Mason

Police data on the number of rapes recorded by 43 police forces, and the outcomes, are published together for the first time today.

These data sets will help the general public to understand the extent of rape offending in their area and look at how their force is responding to this serious crime alongside other forces. These data sets will be available on HMIC's website as part of a range of information for PCCs to consider when assessing local police performance.

The number of recorded rapes, of both adults and children (under 16 years), has steadily increased since March 2008. In the last financial year (to March 2013) there were approximately 6,000 recorded rapes of children and approximately 10,000 recorded rapes of adults in England and Wales.

The numbers, of course, can never tell the full story. Increases in the numbers of rapes being recorded may mean that victims feel more confident in reporting what happened to them; or decreases may mean that victims are losing confidence in the authorities to treat them sensitively.

In September 2013, HMIC hosted an event for Police and Crime Commissioners to discuss HMIC's approach to monitoring forces, with practical examples of how data can be used to assist in setting priorities and identifying who is accountable for improving services to victims. At this event, PCCs asked for more data on rapes across all forces, and today HMIC, on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group, is publishing 43 force reports showing how many rapes were recorded by the police in each force, and the outcomes.

For both adults and children, the force digests:

  • show the number of recorded rapes per 100,000 people in the area;
  • show forces' sanction detection rates for rape;
  • show the rate at which rape was classed as 'no crime rate' by the force;
  • allow data from each police force to be seen alongside the data for other individual forces in England and Wales; and
  • show trends in recorded rape over time.

In publishing the force digests, HMIC is providing information for police forces and PCCs to contribute to the development of a full and thorough analysis of how rape is dealt with in their force area. In addition to the data, the digests supply a range of important questions to be considered alongside local information.

The RMG is made up of representatives from criminal justice inspectorates, government, the wider criminal justice system and the police service and regularly examines data on rape recorded by the police in order to identify trends in performance. The RMG will continue publishing data on rape at regular intervals to inform the public and to maintain a transparent approach.

Chair of the RMG, HM Inspector of Constabulary, Dru Sharpling, said on behalf of the RMG members: "Rape is one of the most serious violent crimes and the impact on victims can be devastating. It is absolutely crucial that the police and wider criminal justice system has all of the information available to ensure that victims are being believed and the police are following through investigations.

"We will be seeking to improve on these data sets and will publish information at regular intervals to encourage and maintain performance improvements across England and Wales."

Source: Inspectorate of Constabulary

Add comment

Security code