Police failing to record rape complaints as crimes
Up to a third of all rape allegations made to police in some parts of London were never recorded as crimes at all last year, disturbing new figures reveal today.
Statistics released to The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism show that in 2013, officers working for the Metropolitan Police classified 22 per cent of the 4,339 rape reports they received as either “crime-related incidents” or “no crimes”.
But there was huge variations across the London boroughs, with 30 per cent of allegations being dropped in this way in Bexley, Lambeth and Kingston-upon-Thames compared with just 9 per cent in Enfield and 13 per cent in Newham. As many as 32 per cent of allegations made in Lambeth did not make official crime figures.
Earlier this week a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found police across the country were failing to record 20 per cent of all crimes accurately.
These new figures show that very significant under-recording extends even to the most serious of crimes. The situation is likely to be similar across much of the country, but many forces do not even record initial allegations of rape – making it impossible to measure drop off rates.
Read more: ‘She had Spanx on’: why the CPS dropped one rape case – as prosecution and conviction rates fall even further
It comes after The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism yesterday highlighted significant falls in conviction rates for rape across the country - and a case which was dropped by prosecutors in part because the woman was wearing Spanx.
The police are supposed to record allegations of rape as a crime as soon as they think that on the balance of probabilities a rape has occurred. They can only then drop an allegation if additional evidence comes to light proving no offence occurred. If this happens the allegation is recorded as a ‘no-crime’.
Crime statistics show the number of rapes classed as ‘no-crimes’ are dropping in many forces, including the Met. But the Bureau’s investigation reveals that a high proportion of rape allegations made to the Met were never recorded as a crime in the first place - meaning they were dropped at even earlier stage.
These allegations are classified as ‘crime related incidents’ (CRIs), a category that is only meant to be used where the police cannot confirm that a crime has taken place to start with – for example if a caller reports a rape without identifying the victim.
Thirteen per cent of rape complaints made to the Met in 2013 were classified in this way, compared with 9 per cent that were classed as ‘no-crimes’.
The revelation that so many reported rapes are dismissed as CRIs has raised the concern that the Met has been misusing this category for cases it does not want to pursue.
A report to the Met by one of the victims of black cab driver John Worboys, who was convicted in 2009 of multiple drug-assisted rapes, was classified as a CRI rather than a crime.
A Met spokeswoman said some cases could end up not being recorded as they were actually the responsibility of other forces.
In a statement the force said: “To date within the current calendar year only 2 ‘no crimes’ have been authorised compared to 80 during the same period in 2013.
“In May 2014 the Met will hold its first independent review panel consisting of three law professors who will consider these ‘no crime’ decisions.”
Putin accuses US of causing global instability
Eleven members of same family hospitalised after eating deadly pufferfish
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Phone-hacking: The Piers Morgan connection - Mirror admits some stories during Morgan's tenure may have been obtained by illegal means
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
David Cameron refuses to pay 'completely unacceptable' £1.7bn EU bill
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands