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Rape Monitoring Group digests start to give picture of how rape is dealt with by police in England and Wales

12 Mar 2015

Responding to the Rape Monitoring Group digests released by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today (12th March 2015), Rape Crisis national spokeswoman Katie Russell said: 

“Rape Crisis welcomes the Rape Monitoring Group’s commitment to transparency and to enabling meaningful scrutiny of the handling of sexual offences by criminal justice agencies.

We’re nonetheless disappointed that the figures released today appear to show no improvement to the overall experience of sexual violence survivors within the criminal justice system. 

Time and again concerns have been raised about the wide disparities between the ways different local areas record and process rape and other sexual crimes, and particularly about the unacceptably high levels of ‘no criming’ in some areas, yet little appears to be changing.

With such small numbers of reported rapes being referred on, reaching court and ultimately ending in a conviction, it’s clear there’s still a huge justice deficit for those who experience sexual violence offences compared to those who suffer other kinds of crime. 

This fact is all the more stark when we consider that only an estimated 15% of all sexual violence survivors currently even choose to report to the police.

It is vital that we acknowledge too that justice for survivors is not simply about convictions; every survivor deserves social justice in the form of access to specialist, local and independent Rape Crisis services, regardless of whether they choose to report, but not every survivor currently has that access.

Long-term investment in the specialist Rape Crisis sector could at least begin to pay off the social justice deficit while the criminal justice system catches up.”