The number of recorded reports of rape in Leicestershire which resulted in “no crime” have been halved in the last year.
That’s the finding in a national report published today (Thursday) by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Last year, Leicestershire had the highest number of so-called “no crime” outcomes, but latest figures show the force is now in line with the national average.
The report, published by the Rape Monitoring Group, also shows:
• The number of recorded rapes of adults in Leicestershire (33) per head of 100,000 population in 2014/2015 is below the national average (41) – the 13th lowest figure in England and Wales.
• The number of recorded rapes of children (81) per head of 100,000 population is also below the national average (92) - the 12th lowest of all English and Welsh police force areas.
Reports of rape of children and adults continues to rise throughout the country, and, as Detective Chief Inspector Jonny Starbuck said, this is largely down to two factors.
“Without doubt the very high profile enquiry conducted by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Yewtree into Jimmy Savile and other well-known people has raised greater awareness of the drive of the police nationally to investigate and prosecute offenders,” he said.
“Here in Leicestershire we have also done much to heighten public awareness and confidence, not least as a result of Operation Enamel, our work in partnership with other agencies to raise awareness of and tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, and as a result of some successful and well-publicised local prosecutions and convictions.
“All of this has helped inspire victims who may otherwise not have come forward to do so, trusting that the police and other agencies will conduct thorough and sensitive enquiries into their allegations.
“Secondly, we have done much to change our processes for recording allegations of rape since last year’s report. Our processes are now much more robust and give us greater confidence that those crimes which are ultimately classified as ‘no crime’ (now categorised as ‘transferred or cancelled crimes’) are done so with far greater confidence that either no notifiable crime has happened, or the crime happened in a different force area or that they were recorded in error”.
The report also highlights how many cases that are investigated by police forces lead referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on whether or not to charge a suspect with rape and the number of decisions that result in a suspect being charged.
In Leicestershire, the number of suspects charged was 51 – a 75 per cent charge rate, compared to a national average of 59 per cent. A total of 32 of those charged were successfully convicted in Leicestershire in the last year.
DCI Starbuck said: “I’m really pleased that the report acknowledges that rape is an extremely complex crime to investigate.
“What matters is when someone reports that they have been raped, our every process from that point onwards is highly supportive towards the complainant, ethical, robust and thorough.
“We now have vastly improved recording processes which support thorough and sensitive investigations and, where we are3 able to gather sufficient evidence, we work very closely with the CPS to enable charges and prosecutions to be brought.”