Rapes and sexual assaults in UK at a record high: Data

2022-02-19 17:32:34
Rapes and sexual assaults in UK at a record high: Data

The number of rapes and sexual assaults recorded by police in England and Wales are at a record high, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Some 170,973 sexual offences were recorded by police in the year to September 2021, 63,136 of which were rape.

This represents a 12% year-on-year increase in the the number of recorded sexual offences.

According to the ONS, there are multiple likely factors behind the increase, including an increase in the number of victims, as well as the impact of high-profile incidents, such as the rape and murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Such incidents can encourage members of the public to come forward and report crimes they have experienced.

The ONS cautions that the figures are by no means a true representation of the scale of the problem, with data suggesting that fewer than one in six victims of rape or assault by penetration report the crime to the police. This suggests that more than 350,000 people were raped in England and Wales last year.

And, for the victims who do come forward, more often than not their bravery is not rewarded.

Almost all rape reports do not result in a charge

On the same day the ONS released its record figures, Home Office statistics revealed the proportion of reported rapes leading to a charge is lower than ever.

In the year to September 2021, fewer than one in 75 of reported rapes led to a charge.

While police recorded cases of rape make for concerning reading, research by the ONS suggests these represent just 17% of rapes taking place, due to victims' reluctance to come forward.

The most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales found that fewer than one in six victims reported the assault to the police.

And, while younger women were more likely to be a victim of rape or sexual assault, they were less likely to report the crime.


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