'A culture of disbelief': New figures reveal wide variations in how different police forces treat reported rapes nationwide
Lincolnshire registered a third of reported rapes as 'no crimes'
Rape victims face a potential “culture of disbelief” when they come forward to police after new figures revealed wide differences in how forces treated reports of the most serious sex crimes.
An examination of the 43 police forces in England and Wales revealed that one registered a third of reported rapes as “no crimes” after receiving new information - while another downgraded only three per cent of cases.
Rape charities said that the figures suggested that a culture of scepticism remained in some forces after a series of high-profile scandals linked to the way rape cases had previously been handled.
A watchdog’s investigation into a specialist sex-crime unit’s operations in London five years ago revealed that officers pressured rape victims into retracting their complaints to improve detection rates.
The number of recorded rapes has increased steadily with about 10,000 attacks on adults and 6,000 on children in the year to March 2013. The increase is attributed in part to a surge in people coming forward following the unmasking of Jimmy Savile as a serial abuser.
However, only a fifth of those raped or sexually assaulted are believed to report it to the police in part because of concerns about how they will be treated by the criminal justice system.
“This is not a surprise to us,” said Professor Liz Kelly, chair of the End Violence Against Women coalition. “Our member organisations know how deep disbelief and victim-blaming goes in institutions and communities. But the police play a critical role enabling rape survivors to access justice, so these disparities and attitudes must be urgently tackled.”
The figures were compiled to help forces and police and crime commissioners compare their performance against other forces.
The figures showed that Lincolnshire had the highest no-crime rate at 33 per cent. The force said that it recorded all rape cases in an “ethical, accurate manner” but said that it could not entirely explain why its figures were higher than other forces.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Dru Sharpling said: “We don't measure a culture of disbelief but it would raise a question in my mind about that issue.”
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >