Rape offences on the increase

ACC Ingrid Lee
ACC Ingrid Lee

Detectives investigated 744 reports of rape in South Yorkshire last year, landing 79 suspects in court, new figures reveal.

A report, published by Mer Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, said that over the same 12 months 43 offenders were convicted of rape in South Yorkshire.

The rape offences reported last year are up by 244 on the year before, with publicity surrounding a number of high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile scandal, believed to be responsible for a rise in reported offences across the country.

The report, which revealed that there were 29,265 reported rapes in England and Wales last year, disclosed that charges were brought in nine per cent of cases where adults were attacked in South Yorkshire, compared to a 12 per cent national average.

It also revealed that charges were brought in 15 per cent of cases involving child victims, compared to a 23 per cent national average.

Last year South Yorkshire Police referred 100 cases to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider charging suspects, with over 70 per cent of cases ending up at court compared to a national average of just under 60 per cent.

Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “I am encouraged to see the professional and dedicated work of our staff, alongside that of our colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service, has seen the amount of successful convictions for rape prosecutions increase over 20 per cent in the last year.

“Reports of rape offences in South Yorkshire have significantly increased in recent years, which mirrors the national picture, and indicates the work we have done to encourage victims to come forward is continuing to take effect.

“There is also little doubt that a number of high-profile investigations, both locally and nationally, has given victims the courage to report abuse with the confidence they will be supported and their claims fully investigated.

“Rape is a vile crime and while we will always work to provide victims with a sense of justice through a criminal prosecution, when that’s not possible, our support will continue to ensure that help is available to victims through partnership organisations.

“I would also use this opportunity to encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse to come forward and speak to us. I can assure anyone contacting us will be treated with compassion, dignity and their claims fully investigated.”