Fewer than four per cent of rape reports in Hampshire lead to charge - as charity that helps sexual assault victims says system is broken

Police have vowed to improve the rate of charging in rape cases
Police have vowed to improve the rate of charging in rape cases
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A CHARITY that helps victims of sexual violence says that the system is failing – as new figures show that of 1,925 rapes reported in one year in Hampshire, only 76 ended up with a perpetrator being charged.

The latest figures, released today, show that in the 12 months to March 31, 2018 Hampshire Constabulary recorded a total of 1,925 rapes. Over the same period the CPS charged 76 people – so there was a charge in fewer than four per cent of cases.

During the same year, the CPS successfully convicted 45 cases and brought 24 unsuccessful prosecutions.

Police have said that they are trying to improve the charge rate for rape. 

But Charity Aurora New Dawn, which supports victims of domestic abuse in Portsmouth and Hampshire, says more needs to be done.

Chief executive Shonagh Dillon said: ‘It is our view that there needs to be a societal shift in the attitude towards sexual violence victims, it is still all too common for victims not to be believed.

‘Until society understands the endemic levels of sexual violence the odds will be stacked against survivors who are simultaneously fighting a system that is failing them.’

Det Supt Paul Barton from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We are working hard in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service to improve the charge rate for rape.

‘Rape offences are complex investigations often involving parties known to each other and therefore the issue quite often comes down to one of consent which, in the absence of any other corroborative evidence, is often hard to prove.

‘There has been an increase in reports of rape in Hampshire, and we are positive that increased awareness of sexual offences through campaign work and media coverage, and increased confidence in reporting by victims, has played a strong part in this.’

Det Supt Barton added: ‘Reporting offences of this nature takes an enormous amount of courage, and we commend the bravery of victims who have taken the steps to make an allegation to the police.

‘Hampshire Constabulary has invested heavily in dedicated teams to deal with these types of crime showing our commitment to tackle high harm offences and protect the vulnerable.’

Of the 1,925 rapes recorded, 1,290 were rapes against a female aged 16+ , 176 of a female aged under 13, 282 rapes of a female aged 14 to 16, 66 rapes of a male aged 16+, 84 rapes of a male aged under 13, 27 rapes of a male aged 14 to 16.