Nearly 99 out of 100 sexual offences go unpunished, official figures reveal
By: Etan Smallman
Barely one in every 100 sexual offences committed in Britain ends with anybody being punished, official figures reveal.
On average, nearly half-a-million people a year say they have been victims of sex crimes, ranging from indecent exposure to rape.
However, just one in ten of those are recorded by police.
In these cases, about 16,000 suspects are charged or receive a caution and a mere 5,620 are convicted, a rate of just 1.1per cent. Jo Wood, of Rape Crisis, said: ‘Unfortunately, the findings are not surprising to us.
‘Every rape victim gets a life sentence, but too few attackers are being caught and convicted.’
The figures reflect the findings of a joint review by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Office for National Statistics.
One in five women has been the victim of a sexual offence in the past, while 69,000 say they have been raped in the past year. However, just 15 per cent reported the most serious crimes to the police.
Women said they were too embarrassed, the offence was ‘too trivial’ or they did not think officers ‘could do much to help’.
This was despite nine in ten of them knowing the perpetrator.
1 in 5 women has been a victim of a sexual offence (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said the conviction rate showed ‘there is clearly a long way to go in improving the criminal justice system’s response to these serious crimes’.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the ‘dreadful figures’ should be a wake-up call for urgent action.
But justice minister Jeremy Wright said police use of cautions was being examined.
‘We shouldn’t remove the right for police to exercise discretion but the public are right to expect that people who commit serious crimes will be brought before a court,’ he added.