RAPE convictions have more than halved while police-recorded rape crimes have soared, a report has shown.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary warns the figures are not directly comparable as it can take a long time for cases to go through the courts. But the HMIC report on Hampshire police revealed:
I will be seeking assurance from the chief constable on this issue and will continue exploring how victims and survivors can be better supportedSimon Hayes
n 839 recorded adult rapes in 2014/15, up from 362 the previous year.
n 359 recorded child rapes in 2014/15 compared to 223 the year before.
n 114 prosecutions in 2014, up from 96 in 2013.
The figures show there were 15 convictions in Hampshire in 2014, down from 34 in 2013.
HMIC’s report said high-profile sex abuse cases, including Operation Yewtree, has encouraged more survivors of abuse to come forward.
Improved recording of crime – prompted by a HMIC inspection – has also had an effect on recorded crime numbers.
But charges for adult rapes have decreased – down from 68 in 2013/14 to 59 in 2014/15. Child rape charges have dropped to 56 in 2014/15 from 58 in 2013/14. CPS figures showed it received 360 referrals in 2014/15 from Hampshire police.
Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes expressed concern, saying: ‘An increase in reports of rape across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is of great concern to me. I’ll be questioning the chief constable as to why this is.
‘Whatever the reasons for this increase, it is important that victims and survivors of rape feel supported, have access to justice, and, whether or not they choose to report the offence, have confidence that their welfare is at the heart of the criminal justice service and wider support services. I will be seeking assurance from the chief constable on this issue.’
He added the majority of victims and survivors of rape still do not report the crime
Det Supt Phil McTavish, from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘The number of offences reported has risen significantly, but this does not mean that the total number of offences committed has risen by the same amount.
‘We are seeing an increase in reporting which we welcome as a sign of increased trust and confidence in our approach. We have also seen a large rise in non-recent cases being reported to us, which again we strongly believe is a mark of confidence in the service the public receive.’