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Rape Crisis responds to HMIC report on crime data integrity

18 Nov 2014

Responding to Crime Recording: Making the Victim Count, a report on crime data integrity released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today (18th November 2014), Rape Crisis England & Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said: 

“Rape Crisis England & Wales once again welcomes the commitment to transparency and to the meaningful scrutiny of police practice in relation to crime recording that this inspection and publication of its findings today reflect.

Nonetheless, it is clearly of grave concern that, during its audit of police forces across England and Wales, HMIC found that violent and sexual offences are overall less likely to be recorded as crime by the police than other types of crime, and that over a quarter of all sexual offences reported are ‘no crimed’.

Equally worrying is the fact that this is by no means the first report of its kind. 

Statistics released by HMIC at the beginning of this year (31st January 2014) revealed persistently high levels of ‘no criming’ in relation to rape of both adults and children and wide disparities in police recording and investigation practices between 43 forces.

And in February 2012, HMIC published its Forging the Links report jointly with Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), which highlighted similar concerns about inadequate and inconsistent police practice. 

How many more such reports will it take before we see a real and marked improvement in criminal justice for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence? 

We must not forget that the Government estimates just 15% of those who experience sexual violence currently choose to report to the police. 

Findings such as those published today do nothing to improve survivors’ confidence that they will be listened to, believed and their cases adequately handled if they do want to pursue criminal justice. 

Rape Crisis, like HMIC, welcomes the significant steps some forces have apparently taken during and since this inspection to improve crime recording but urgent action to address this issue across the board is clearly still needed. 

We note that HMIC finds that crime recording in a few forces is very good but ‘a few’ is clearly nowhere near enough.” 

Rape Crisis has 40 years’ experience of providing specialist, independent support and advocacy services to women and girls in particular who have experienced sexual violence of any kind at any time in their lives, regardless of whether they report to the police.

Information about these services, and about services for male survivors of sexual violence, can be found on this website.