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Police recording rape as no crime - new figures

(53 Posts)
AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen Fri 09-Sep-11 09:27:56

I have a mountain of work to get through today, so am just going to post and run for now. Didn't want you all to miss this, though.

"New figures show wide disparities in the way that police forces in England and Wales record allegations of rape.

Data supplied to BBC News under the Freedom of Information Act shows the proportion of rapes dismissed as "no crime" varies between 2% and 30%.

Overall, the number of reports of rape classed as "no crime" has decreased.

The figures given to the BBC come four years after a watchdog warned that recorded crime figures for rape were skewed.

In its report, the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate warned that some reports of rape were being wrongly classified by police forces. In turn, there was a danger that these mistakes inflated perceptions of false allegations.

At the time, police in England and Wales classified almost 16% of reports of rapes as "no crime". That figure has now fallen to under 12% - but data supplied by the Association of Chief Police Officers shows that the average hides wide variations.

While Gloucestershire Police recorded 2.4% of rapes as "no crime", the figure for Kent was 30%, three times the rate in 2009. Surrey Police's "no crime" figure was over 20%.

As a rule of thumb, Acpo says forces should look again if the proportion of rapes classed as "no crime" rises above 12%.

In a statement, Kent Police said the jump in its statistics came after a recent review of open cases.

'No crime' figures by force

2%: Gloucestershire
5%: Humberside
10%: Devon and Cornwall
15%: Norfolk
22%: Gwent
30%: Kent

Figures rounded and related to offences in year to March 2011

"As a result of this review, detailed enquiries carried out by officers resulted in some reports of rape being categorised as a 'no crime'. This resulted in above average 'no crimes' for the period April 2010 - March 2011.

"Periodic reviews of crime reports are an important part of maintaining the highest standards of investigation practices, and allow officers to review lines of inquiry thereby ensuring victims of sexual offences are supported effectively throughout the investigation and prosecution processes."

Surrey Police said: "In accordance with the Home Office counting rules, we may 'no crime' records if, and only if, there is additional verifiable information to satisfy the force crime registrar that there is no substantive rape.

"We continue to undertake this victim-focused approach and have worked with partner agencies such as the NHS to assist in the introduction of the Surrey sexual assault referral centre to provide victims with appropriate support."

But Lisa Longstaff, of Women against Rape, said the figures were insulting to victims.

"The whole practice of 'no criming' does send out a terrible message and the higher the no crime figure is in each area, the worse the message it sends out," she said.

The Freedom of Information figures also revealed variations in "sanction detections" - the police accounting term for cases where a suspect has been charged or cautioned.

National figures in summary

15,940 rapes in year to March 2011
12% classed as no crime
24% of all cases lead to conviction or caution
Proportion of convictions in cases that go to court is rising - up from 58% in 2009 to 71% in 2011

For two years, the figures for Lincolnshire Police have been below 13%. In contrast, Durham consistently achieved sanction detection rates three times higher.

Detective Inspector Sean Baxter of Lincolnshire Police said that sanction detections had risen since April 2011 and that they had also just launched the "Emerald Team", a dedicated rape investigations unit.

"The Emerald Team is made up of experienced hand-picked detectives and specially trained officers concerned solely with the investigation of rape offences from the cradle to the grave," he said.

"We expect a significant impact as a result of this new team that is working closely with the Crown prosecution team to enhance the investigation and prosecution of offenders in these emotive crimes."

In her review last year of how rape cases are handled, Baroness Vivien Stern criticised the repeated use of a figure suggesting that only 6% of rapes lead to convictions. Statistics show that a majority of rape prosecutions result in a conviction.

David Gee, a former advisor to the Home Office, said there was "such flexibility" in the crime recording rules that forces interpret them differently.

"But we need to look at not only the way it is recorded, but also the way so-called performance in this area is measured.

"This pre-determines police attitudes to allegations at the outset. If they know they are going to be criticised for recording a crime in good faith that is later not prosecuted, then there is a mind-set... there is no incentive to record."

SardineQueen Fri 09-Sep-11 09:42:53

I saw this on the BBC this morning as well. I was pretty shocked at some of the figures.

To "no crime" it means that the police have decided that no crime has been committed. So that means that they think the woman is lying? And have decided this off their own bat.

This quote bothers me a bit:

"Surrey Police said: "In accordance with the Home Office counting rules, we may 'no crime' records if, and only if, there is additional verifiable information to satisfy the force crime registrar that there is no substantive rape."

What is a "substantive rape"? What does that actually mean? Does anyone know?

It's peculiar isn't it that women in Gloucestershire are so much more truthful than women in Kent who are clearly a pack of liars hmm

Studies show that the rate of false claims for rape are similar to other crimes - 2% or 4% or something like that I don't have the info to hand. Yet in Kent they are putting it at 30%.


SardineQueen Fri 09-Sep-11 09:44:12

So bottom line is that if you live in Kent and are raped, you have a 1 in 3 chance that the police will refuse to investigate on the basis that you are making it up / it wasn't "substantive" (whatever that means).

How appalling for the women in Kent.

And rather than apologising they make excuses about it angry

WoTmania Fri 09-Sep-11 11:43:34

I live in Kent sad
I also had an issue with the phrase 'substantice rape'. What does that mean. That some are almost a rape but not quite hmm? Or some are worse than others? I reckon it actually means that a lot will come down to his word against hers and the jury would choose to believe him. SO no point taking it further.

edd1337 Fri 09-Sep-11 11:57:06

So much for all those years of Harriet Harman being in office

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 09-Sep-11 12:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 09-Sep-11 12:59:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRICRI Fri 09-Sep-11 13:00:23

But, sadly not surprising.

edd1337 Fri 09-Sep-11 13:07:26

Hardly. Harman had YEARS to toughen up the rape laws, seems she failed

All your defending and excuses wont change the past

Pan Fri 09-Sep-11 13:17:10

Rape laws need little toughening up. They need to be actually applied.
edd - you may have a point, somewhere. It just isn't this one.

Pan Fri 09-Sep-11 13:19:41

or here.

edd1337 Fri 09-Sep-11 13:23:50

did my message post? Or am i seeing things?

LeninGrad Fri 09-Sep-11 13:24:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edd1337 Fri 09-Sep-11 13:24:51

Ah seems not. I'll try again

Why didn't Harman do more to make them be applied?

Pan Fri 09-Sep-11 13:30:42

Is this partly an exercise to embarass the govt. in saying 'we have a resource question and we do not have enough to pursue enquiries where it is difficult to secure a conviction' or some such. Perhaps not.

Policing resourcing is scuh a hot little potatoe right now that anything in the media should be viewed in the light of it.

Pan Fri 09-Sep-11 13:32:25

potatoe - hmm

KRICRI Fri 09-Sep-11 13:41:52

parp? grin

LeninGrad Fri 09-Sep-11 13:48:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edd1337 Fri 09-Sep-11 14:00:36

Seems worse if it's a woman PC and cba imho

Pan Fri 09-Sep-11 14:00:37

perhaps a bit of both Lenin. If suddenly the police were blessed with all the resources they need, I would fear that rape investigation would still not be a top of the list priority.

SardineQueen Fri 09-Sep-11 14:23:28

Oh god I don't know if I can be bothered.

Would be interested to see the source of the idea that much of the "no criming" of rape is down to female police officers not being arsed to do their jobs.

There isn't one though, I'm sure.

FFS what a load of tosh.

SardineQueen Fri 09-Sep-11 14:26:29

I mean why do we have to put up with this shit?

(Feeling irritable today)

LeninGrad Fri 09-Sep-11 14:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tyr Fri 09-Sep-11 14:35:24

The conviction rate of those cases which actually proceed to court is up to 71%, high for violent crime.
As always, the problem seems to be at the initial evidence gathering and investigative stage.
Kent police are blaming that 30% bombshell on a review. Does anyone previous figures for that area?

scurryfunge Fri 09-Sep-11 14:47:19

"substantive rape" will mean full rape. It will not refer to other offences of assaults by penetration, sexual assaults, etc and any attempts.

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