Recorded rapes of adults and children rise in Lincolnshire, but few are convicted

The number of recorded rapes in Lincolnshire has almost doubled in one year, with nearly 100 children allegedly the victims of the crime in the county.

Detectives investigated a total of 208 recorded rapes of adults in the 12 months up to March 2015, compared with 109 the previous year.

An additional 96 rapes of children were recorded by Lincolnshire Police, up almost 30 on 2013-2014.

Recorded rapes refer to all crimes of rape reported to the police that must be notified to the Home Office.

Despite the increase in reports, only 12 people were found guilty and convicted of rape in Lincolnshire in 2014, with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecuting just 20 individuals.

The analysis, produced by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group, includes information provided by Lincolnshire Police, the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, and College of Policing.

The report noted the so-called ‘Jimmy Savile’ effect on the increase in the number of recorded rapes across the country.

It said: “There are many reasons why a reported rape does not continue to conviction: the police do not record the incident as a crime; the victim does not wish for the case to be taken forward; the CPS advises that no further action be taken; the offence is changed to something other than rape; and, importantly, the defendant is acquitted by a jury following a trial.

“Cases involving sexual offences can often, by their nature, lack corroborating evidence and come down to complex decisions around consent and one person’s word against another.

“At any time victims may withdraw from the process for fear of giving evidence in court, fear that the process will be too distressing, fear of being disbelieved or judged, or as a result of delays from start to finish.

“Increased publicity associated with high-profile sexual abuse cases, such as Operation Yewtree among others, has encouraged more survivors of sexual abuse to come forward to the police.

“Improved recording of crime by the police, in part prompted by an HMIC inspection among other reviews, will also have had an effect on recorded crime numbers.”