Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group, today release statistics showing that the number of people charged, prosecuted and convicted of rape has fallen since last year, but the number of recorded incidents of rape have increased.
Figures show that there was a 53% drop in charges from last year, and nearly 19% drop in convictions in North Wales. Despite there being a 21% increase in the total number of recorded offences year on year. Most concerning is the 24% increase in recorded rape against children.
Nationally, the report notes there has been an increase of 87% from October 2012 to March 2015. HMIC note that “victims are losing confidence in the authorities to treat them sensitively”.
These figures are being repeated in constabularies up and down the country as their budgets have been cut by 20% since 2010. The government is proposing further cuts in its annual spending review that could be as high as 40%.
These are truly distressing figures. Each one of these abstract numbers represents someone who has faced the most horrendous crime that can be committed against a person. We must ensure that victims of sexual violence are given the support they so desperately need.
The government has continued to under invest in our police, and these figures show the suffering people face when the government cuts too far. Only 1 in 26 recorded rapes resulting in a conviction is dire and must be sorted now by the government.
The police are being placed under pressure. I know North Wales police officers will share my concern and will do everything in their power to improve these figures. But they need the government’s full support, something they are not currently receiving.