When is rape a crime in Hertfordshire?

PUBLISHED: 15:07 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:47 05 February 2014

Sex assault victims are being let down, say activists

Sex assault victims are being let down, say activists

Archant

More than a fifth of alleged rapes reported in Hertfordshire are not pursued by police, new figures show.

Rapes reported to Hertfordshire police in year ending March 2013:

■ 110 adults and 63 children.

■ Adult rapes per 100,000 polulation: 12.3, compared to national rate of 22.

■ Reported rapes later classed as “no crime” by police: 29 adults and two children.

■ Proportion leading to court sentence: 21 per cent of adult rapes, and 37 per cent of child cases.

According to a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary last week, 21 per cent of Hertfordshire rape complaints in the year to March 2013 were later classed as “no crime”.

The proportion of discontinued cases was the third highest in England and Wales, and far higher than the national average of 12 per cent.

According to the report, 110 adults and 63 children told Hertfordshire police they had been raped in the 12-month period, just over half the national average rate per head.

Although its “no crime” rate is high, Hertfordshire’s detection rates of 21 per cent for adults and 37 per cent for children are better than the national averages of 18 per cent and 31 per cent.

Since 2010,when a report by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate highlighted the issue, the national “no crime” rate has fallen from 16 per cent to 12 per cent, but in Hertfordshire it has risen from eight per cent.

A spokeswoman from Herts Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre told the WHT: “It sends out a message to women and girls that have been assaulted that you won’t get past the first hurdle because police don’t believe you.”

A police spokeswoman pointed to the higher-than-average detection rates, and said: “We have worked hard to both focus on reduction of crime whilst at the same time encouraging victims of such crimes to report them.

“We need to reassure victims to come forward, as we will conduct a full and thorough investigation.”

She added that Herts police was one of the first forces to set up a unit specifically dedicated to investigating rape and sexual assault


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