Latest Public Sector News

31.01.14

Rape statistics suggest variation in police reporting

There is wide variation in the way police record and classify rape allegations, new figures show.

HM’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) compiled data showing the differences in how police forces across England and Wales recorded the crime.

The highest number of reported rapes was in Northamptonshire, at 34.8 per 100,000 of the adult population. The lowest was 9.8 per 100,000, in Durham.

But HMIC warned that a low number of recorded rapes could raise questions over the police disbelieving victims.

It said: “Increases in the number 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.”

The statistics, which cover the year to the end of March 2013, showed that the number of recorded rapes for both adults and children have risen steadily since 2008. In 2012/13 there were 10,000 recorded rapes of adults and 6,000 of children.

Liz Kelly, chairwoman of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said: “The wide disparities between different areas' reporting 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.”

HMIC also highlighted the number of recorded rapes that were declassified, and those resulting in conviction and punishment. Although Durham had the lowest number of reported rapes, it also had the highest ‘sanction detection rate’, with the number that ended in a caution or charge at 32% compared to the national average of 18%.

And while Lincolnshire had one of the lowest levels of recorded rape, 33% of offences initially recorded as rape were later declassified.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will work more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace i... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Governmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all... read more >