Only 1 in 16 reported rapes in Essex lead to conviction
RAPE victims in Essex are being let down by the criminal justice system, according to a Colchester charity.
New figures have revealed only one in 16 reported rapes in Essex results in a conviction.
The number of incidents of rape and sexual abuse being reported have doubled during the past five years but the conviction rate is still lower than almost all other crimes.
Helen Parr, director of Colchester-based charity Cara - Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse - said: “We are pleased more people are coming forward to report rapes, which we believe reflects increased confidence among victims and survivors they will be believed and taken seriously.
“However, the low number of perpetrators being brought to justice must be urgently challenged.
“The criminal justice process is currently failing rape victims and addressing this failure should be a priority for Essex.”
Figures released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s rape monitoring group revealed there were 659 adult and 327 child rapes reported in Essex last year. There were 62 convictions.
Nationally the average conviction rate is also lower, but in Essex it is lower.
Concerns have also been raised about the number of reported rapes which reach the courts.
Figures show 88 per cent of the rapes reported last year never made it to a courtroom.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “These figures help build a valuable analysis of how these crimes are dealt with throughout the criminal justice system.
“The increase in Essex in numbers of recorded rapes of both adults and children broadly reflect a national picture.
“We believe this picture reflects an increased confidence on the part of victims their allegations will be believed and investigated thoroughly.
“We need anyone who is the victim of such awful crimes, whether they have been committed recently or in the past, to come forward and speak to us so we can help.”
Support for anyone who needs it can be found at essexvictimsgateway.org.
Victims and survivors of sexual violence can contact Cara for support on 01206 769795, or by going to www.caraessex.org.uk