Cressida Dick: Knife crime 'stain on our city'
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Only six percent of all crimes led to a charge in the year to September 2021, which is equivalent to one in 17 offences being solved, according to Home Office figures. In addition, police forces in England and Wales have recorded the highest number of rapes and sexual offences in a 12-month period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports.
There were 63,136 rapes recorded in the year to September up 13 percent from the previous period (56,119), the ONS reports.
This represents the highest recorded annual figure to date and included the highest quarterly figure of 17,419 offences between July and September.
Express.co.uk reader, Caribidus, raged: “The judiciary and sentencing in this country is a joke. The victims of crime are viewed as a nuisance.”
The highest number of sexual offences was also recorded in the 12 months to September (170,973), a 12 percent increase compared to 152,620 in the same period the previous year.
The ONS said this was driven by noticeable increases since April. Rape accounted for 37 percent of all sexual offences recorded by police.
Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, said there was no escaping the numbers, adding: “Record highs in reported rapes and sexual assaults and charging rates so low as to be barely discernible. This is of grave concern and a depressingly familiar story.”
Home Office data shows just 2.9 percent of reported sexual offences and 1.3 percent of recorded rapes result in a charge or summons.
Andrea Simon, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), said: “These figures should be a wake-up call to government that our justice system is broken and needs a radical overhaul to address the epidemic of sexual violence against women and girls.
“Otherwise, despite the government’s commitments and promises, justice for women will continue to be out of reach.”
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The figures cover the months following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard in March.
Ms Everard, 33, was attacked and killed by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens who was sentenced in September to a whole-life term.
Her murder sparked a national debate about sexual violence, the safety of women and the response from the Government, police and prosecutors.
Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper told the Press Association: “These damning figures show the Conservatives have no grip on law and order, with more criminals being let off, more victims being let down and a shameful failure to tackle violence against women and girls.”
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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said nobody should have to experience the horror of rape and other sexual crimes.
He added: “It’s encouraging that more victims of sexual violence are coming forward, and we’ve been clear that police must raise the bar in handling such cases so victims know that they will be taken seriously and criminals responsible are put behind bars.
“And we are taking long-term action to prevent violence against women and girls, bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring victims get the support they need.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted the overall crime figures showed the Government’s approach is working while the Home Office said they demonstrated crime continues to fall.
A Government spokeswoman added that a rape action plan will make the system work better for victims and put more rapists behind bars while recruiting more police officers besides making the process less intrusive will give victims the confidence their cases will be rigorously pursued with support available at every stage”.
The Crown Prosecution Service has said it is taking significant steps to improve prosecution rates, including a joint action plan with the police, and that it will prosecute whenever the legal test is met.
The Police Federation of England and Wales argued that officer recruitment levels have failed to keep pace with the UK’s expanding population. It warns Government plans to recruit 20,000 more officers by March 2023 do not go far enough to help forces protect communities.
National Vice-chair Ché Donald said: “The current uplift programme to recruit 20,000 additional officers – which is now only halfway there – doesn’t go far enough, as it simply replaces the number of police officers lost during the years of austerity.
“Not only do we have an exponentially expanding population which has grown by 4 million in the last decade, but the level of crime has increased and become far more complex. In addition, the time officers spend dealing with non-crime issues, such as helping vulnerable people and those in mental health crises, has also risen.
“We need long-term recruitment and sustainable funding in policing and police leaders must ensure they don’t just focus on getting people through the door, but also do what is needed to retain them, such [as] fair pay processes, investment in wellbeing and better benefits, as retention is still a problem across the service.”
Stalking and harassment also rose by 21 percent from 539,586 offences recorded by police in 2019-20 to 655,322 in 2020-21, according to the ONS.
The organisation said it cannot conclude whether there has been an increase in the number of victims of domestic abuse because of changes in the way these crimes are reported and recorded.
It added: “Data from victim services suggests that experiences of domestic abuse may have intensified during periods of national lockdown and that victims faced difficulties in safely seeking support under these conditions.”
Stalking and harassment also rose by 21 percent from 539,586 offences recorded by police in 2019-20 to 655,322 in 2020-21.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows little change in the total number of incidents of violence but a 27 percent drop in the number of victims of violent crime.
The ONS says this is largely driven by falls in violence where the offender was a stranger, where the number of victims has dropped by 50 percent, “in part reflecting the closure of the night-time economy for several months of the year”.
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