Rapists attack without fear of being punished: Rape claims up by a THIRD… but just one in 50 lead to conviction
- Dame Vera Baird slammed findings that rape more than trebled in three years
- More women coming forward but less being prosecuted and less convictions
- High profile sex cases, like Savile, thought responsible for more complainants
Rapists can act without fear of being punished as just one in 50 reports result in a conviction, the Victims’ Commissioner has warned.
Dame Vera Baird slammed failings in the justice system as official figures showed that reports of rape have more than trebled in six years.
They have risen by 31 per cent in the last year alone – from 41,186 to 54,045 – however the rate resulting in charges being brought has fallen from 6.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent.
Dame Vera Baird, pictured, is the Victims’ Commissioner who has warned the criminal justice system is failing those who suffer at the hands of rapists. Recent figures show that just one in 50 cases of rape lead to a conviction
As well as this, fewer rape suspects are being convicted – just 1,062 compared to 1,350 the previous year.
Dame Vera said the Government needs to ‘act quickly’ in its review of how rape complaints are handled. She said that the criminal justice system is ‘letting down’ victims – and creating new victims by ‘failing to tackle potential serial rapists.’
She said: ‘More complainants are coming forward, but fewer cases are being prosecuted and only one in every 50 cases is resulting in a conviction. How can this be justice?
‘These figures show that perpetrators can act without fear of being held to account. Many will go on to commit further offences.
‘We know that nearly four in five victims of sexual assault choose not to report the crimes. How can we give these victims the confidence to report when so few cases ever secure a conviction?’
The figures have been gathered by the Rape Monitoring Group (RMG) and published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.
The data was recorded by bodies including the Home Office, Office for National Statistics, Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice – covering all 43 police forces in England and Wales and the British Transport Police.
A sharp rise in reports of rape has previously been linked to high profile sex abuse cases which have been thoroughly discussed in the media. Some believe that this has spurred more women to come forward
Figures show that in 2012/13 there were 16,374 reports of rape, more than trebling to 54,045 in 2017/2018. In the last year, some 11,913 alleged attacks were not recorded as crimes, an increase from 8,624 the year before.
The number of cases referred by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision has fallen slightly, from 6,606 to 6,012.
A sharp rise in reports of rape has previously been linked to high profile sex abuse scandals – such as the one involving Jimmy Savile – appearing in the media. Experts have said it spurred more people to report crimes against them.
Rebecca Hitchen, from the End Violence Against Women Coalition campaign group, said the figures are ‘truly shocking’ and show ‘just how broken the system is’. She added: ‘This is a crisis and it needs the highest level of political attention.’
Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams, chairman of the RMG, 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. We hope [the data] will help police and prosecutors to improve their work to provide justice for victims.’