Lincolnshire has seen a sharp rise in the number of reported rapes but also a drop in the number of charges brought against offenders.
New figures from an independent Rape Monitoring Group have revealed that of 600 reports of rape in the county, just 20 result in any charges or summons.
That low charging rate of 3% during 2017/2018 has been dropping over the past three years, as it was at 11% in 2015/2016 and at 10% in 2016/2017.
Across the country, the figures appear to be following a similar trend where the number of reported rapes are on the rise but the number of charges continues to fall.
In Lincolnshire alone, the rape of a female over the age of 16 made up the majority of figures at 382 but in the same 2017/2018 period police recorded 88 reported rapes of a female and seven reported rapes of a male under the age of 16.
Data from the Crown Prosecution Service digs a little deeper into the reasons of unsuccessful convictions, with acquittals making up the majority of cases.
Victim retraction, victim non-attendance, victim evidence not supporting the case or conflict of prosecution evidence all tend to make up the other reasons.
Detective Superintendent Jon McAdam, head of Protecting Vulnerable People at Lincolnshire Police, said: “Lincolnshire Police is committed to ensuring all reports of rape are taken seriously, victims are supported throughout and proportionate thorough investigations are completed.
“Whilst always seeking to bring offenders to justice, it is recognised these are challenging, complex and serious investigations that must be investigated with the victim at the centre of everything we do.
“Due to the personal impact such offences can have on a person, this can mean they are not feeling willing or strong enough to want to support the police, and that we as a service listen to what it is that they want.
“This can mean that if a survivor of abuse wishes to support a Police investigation, it may be some years after the offence took place when this can happen, meaning any numbers such as these include recent and non-recent offences.”