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‘It’s not good enough’ - 95pc of serious sexual offences go unsolved in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:30 07 March 2019

Serious sexual offences were 26.7% above the three-year average in 2018 (Picture posed by model). Picture: GARETH FULLER/PA WIRE

Serious sexual offences were 26.7% above the three-year average in 2018 (Picture posed by model). Picture: GARETH FULLER/PA WIRE

Archant

Just one out of 18 serious sexual offences were solved in Suffolk during 2018, a new police report has revealed.

The report, which was produced by Suffolk Constabulary ahead of their Accountability and Performance Panel meeting on March 8, also shows that Suffolk saw the highest number of rapes per 1,000 people, in comparison to similar forces.

The number of serious sexual crimes reported to Suffolk police in 2018 was up by 26.7pc on their three year average and only 5.7pc of those crimes were solved.

Amy Roch, director at Suffolk Rape Crisis, said: “While these statistics shows increases in police reporting, we know this is not the full picture.

“We are seeing more and more women seeking support who have never reported to the Police. It is therefore vital that there is long-term sustainable funding for specialist services like ours so that women and girls who have experienced sexual violence are able to get the support they need.

“More needs to be done throughout the criminal justice process to ensure that survivors are supported.

“Women in Suffolk are still not getting the justice they deserve. Only one in eighteen serious sexual crimes is solved and that is just not good enough.”

Despite a high number of rapes in Suffolk, the number of those convicted for rape is the highest in the East of England. More than 65pc of those charged for rape since March 2017 were convicted.

It also shows that one in every three victims do not support police in their investigations.

Head of Crime, Safeguarding & Incident Management Detective Chief Superintendent, Eamonn Bridger, said: “The increase in recorded sexual offences reflects the continued national push to encourage victims to report crimes against them, whether it happened recently or in the past.

“We are committed to robustly investigating all reports of rapes or serious sexual offences and to providing support to victims throughout the investigative process and resulting court proceedings. Over the past year the force has increased the resourcing of operational teams and relevant support services to ensure the demand is met in relation to tackling this type of crime.

“It is important to bear in mind that some of the reports recorded may have been committed several years previously and consequently this sometimes makes securing convictions even more challenging.

“We make every effort to support victims by providing specialist facilities and highly trained officers in these cases which are extremely distressing for them.

“Anyone who is a victim of rape or any sexual offence can be reassured that they can and should come forward and contact us. All complaints are taken seriously and we continue to work with partner agencies to provide them victims appropriate support whilst conducting a robust and thorough investigation.”

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