PCC launches campaign as sex assaults increase in Essex

Rise in sex crimes reported in Essex - stock photo

Rise in sex crimes reported in Essex - stock photo - Credit: Archant

Essex’s police and crime commissioner has pledged to continue tackling serious sex crimes, as new figures were released showing a significant rise in the number of child rapes reported to Essex Police.

According to the data, the number of child rape reports increased by 29% in the last 12 months, while the total number of serious sex crime allegations rose by 32%.

The statistics show that between April 2014 and March 2015, 1,913 serious sex crimes were reported to Essex Police, compared to 1,446 in the previous year, and 608 in 2012/13.

Essex PCC, Nick Alston, said: “The stark reality is that almost every single day, the rape of a child is being reported to Essex Police.

“One child rape is one too many, but harm of this scale is highly distressing and has to be tackled.

“As a society, we must act to address this serious and shocking harm.”

Of the serious sex crimes reported between April 2014 and March this year, 879 were reports of rape, of which 361 of the victims were aged under 17, compared to 280 child rapes in the previous year.

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In total, there were 985 reports of serious sexual assault on children, of which 190 cases were solved.“

The figures also showed that 320 of all rape reports, involving adult and child victims, were suspected to be domestic-related.

There was also an increase in the number of historic cases, reported to the force more than a year after the incident, from 246 in 2012/13 to 481 in 2014/15.

Mr Alston has said more must be done to understand trends and motives behind serious sexual crimes.

“I’ve published this information as I believe it will help inform the debate, explain some of the underlying trends, and most crucially of all, help bring offenders to justice and protect victims from harm,” he said.

“Around a quarter of sexual offences are reported to police more than a year after the crime occurred. We cannot be certain, but my judgement is that...a ‘Savile effect’ may well be a factor.

“I am particularly concerned that only around one in every five serious sexual offences against a child results in charges being brought.

“We must continue to act to combat serious sexual crime, to bring perpetrators to justice, and to support victims.”