The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today (28th April 2022) released its latest crime figures for the year ending in December 2021 – showing a new record high for sexual offences recorded by the police.
183,587 sexual offences were recorded by police across the year – a 22% increase on the same period in 2020 (150,748 offences) and up 13% from 2019 (163,067 offences).
Rape accounted for 37% of these offences, with 67,125 offences recorded in the same annual period – a 21% rise from 55,592 in the 12 months to December 2020.
Rebecca Hitchen, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said:
“In the last couple of years, we’ve seen high profile cases of violence against women put sexual offences firmly on the public agenda. This data may therefore reflect greater awareness and inclination to report to the police.
However, while around a third of reported rapes relate to domestic abuse it may also be true that the easing of lockdowns and return of socialising led to increased opportunity and impunity with which perpetrators might offend.
What we know is that these figures remain the tip of the iceberg, as reporting does not feel like an option for many women, particularly those who face discrimination on the basis of their race, immigration status, disability, and other characteristics.
But as a record number of women are reporting rape and sexual assault, rather than experiencing support and justice, they’re finding themselves treated like the one under investigation, in system that blames and harms them, inappropriately focuses on their ‘credibility’ and in the vast majority of cases, will not bring them justice.
This is a national scandal and despite commitments in the government’s Rape Review, nothing is really changing. This latest data from the ONS must be a wake up call to government that our broken justice system needs a radical overhaul.”
Sinead Geoghegan, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org 07960 744 502