Hampshire police fail to record nearly 1 in 7 reports of rape, according to figures

Police in Hampshire did not record nearly one in seven reports of rape, figures reveal.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 30th September 2019, 3:50 pm
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 11:00 pm

The victims' commissioner for England and Wales called the systemic under-reporting of rape ‘shocking and unforgiveable’ and said officers should explain why they are letting victims down.

The comments come as Hampshire police’s latest audit revealed 38 out of 287 audited rape reports (13 per cent) were not recorded properly.

A spokesman from the force insisted the figures do ‘not represent a recording failure’.

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Victim's commissioner Dame Vera Baird, speaking about the overall national picture, said there is ‘no excuse’ for errors, which mean investigations are not carried out and perpetrators escape justice.

She added: ‘It takes enormous courage to come forward and report a sexual crime.

‘Victims would be devastated to learn that it has not been properly recorded – they deserve better wherever they live.

‘It would be interesting to hear why forces who are recording poorly explain themselves.’

As reported, Hampshire police was found to have recorded nine per cent of crimes reported to it incorrectly – with more than 15,200 missed offences estimated each year.

Of the 1,530 cases analysed, 340 were linked to domestic abuse.

But auditors noted 48 of these did not appear in official figures, including 38 violent offences.

Police watchdog the HMICFRS found the force to be ‘of concern’ for crime reporting, with an estimated 6,100 violent crimes and 540 sex offences not recorded each year.

A police spokesman said: ‘The accurate recording of crime can be influenced by many factors which may not be clear at the beginning of an investigation. The transfer of cases from one force to another, or a different crime to the one reported being identified following an initial investigation, can impact on these figures and does not represent a recording failure.

‘Additionally, it may become apparent that a crime never actually happened. In these cases, police will use the verifiable information they have obtained to justify closing a case, and will never close a case if they are merely unclear as to whether a crime happened or not.’

It comes after figures revealed that of 1,925 rapes reported in one year in Hampshire, only 76 ended up with a perpetrator being charged.

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