Updated: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 6:20am

Rape and sex assault reports up by 45% but prosecutions across Manchester fall

Rape and sex assault reports up by 45% but prosecutions across Manchester fall

| By Rosemary Collins

Reports of rapes and sexual assaults to police in Greater Manchester have risen by 45% but the number of prosecutions has fallen, new figures have revealed.

According to a Freedom of Information Act request by Mancunian Matters, Greater Manchester Police received 5,935 reports of rape and sexual assault this year and 4,085 the year before.

However, new figures released this week show that the percentage of reported rapes leading to prosecutions in Greater Manchester decreased by 2% in the past year.

Detective Inspector Damian Simpson from GMP’s Serious Sexual Offences Unit said the rise was “down to increased public confidence in coming forward and greater accuracy in our recording methods.”

The number of reported assaults in Greater Manchester has increased for almost every year in the past five years, with a 104% increase in total.

Year

Number of reported assaults

October 2010 – September 2011

2,911

October 2011 – September 2012

2,868

October 2012 – September 2013

3,276

October 2013 – September 2014

4,085

October 2014 – September 2015

5,935

 

Inspector Simpson added: "Rape ruins lives for both the victim and perpetrator and you have my absolute word that we will take each report seriously and are committed to bringing offenders to justice, whatever the circumstances may be.”

A GMP spokeswoman clarified that Inspector Simpson’s remarks on the impact of rape on the perpetrator referred particularly to GMP’s #noconsentnosex campaign.

#noconsentnosex is aimed at university students, whom the spokeswoman said may not realise what can be classed as rape.

Inspector Simpson said the message of the campaign was:  “It doesn’t matter whether there has been flirting, kissing or you’ve exchanged numbers - sex without consent is rape, and if somebody is too drunk to consent then the best thing for all involved is to assume it has not been given.”

The campaign involves putting up posters in student bars and clubs around Manchester and sharing the hashtag #noconsentnosex.

It was introduced last year after the number of reports of rape GMP received from students aged 18 to 24 doubled.

There were 30 between August and October 2014, compared to 15 in the same period in 2013.

Mancunian Matters measured their data differently to GMP, since the FOI does not factor in victim’s ages and includes sexual assault as well as rape.

However, the data indicates that the number of students reporting assaults has continued to rise since the campaign started.

There were 359 complaints from students in October 2012 to September 2013, 420 in October 2013 to September 2014 and 563 in October 2014 to September 2015.

Year

Number of reported assaults where the victim was a student

October 2010 – September 2011

333

October 2011 – September 2012

382

October 2012 – September 2013

359

October 2013 – September 2014

420

October 2014 – September 2015

563

 

As part of #noconsentnosex, GMP are working with St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre to ensure victims get appropriate support.

St Mary’s Clinical Director Dr Catherine White said that the number of people accessing their services last year increased from approximately 1,200 to 1,600.

Around a third of their clients are children.

Dr White said: “It is difficult to pin point exactly why numbers might increase.

“We would hope that people who have experienced rape or sexual assault would feel more confident in making report to the police and have more knowledge of the services that are available to them.”

St Mary’s provides care for clients including counselling, a forensic examination, health care assessment and support through court if they decide to prosecute.

Clients come to them through police or self-referral and they don’t have to report to the police if they don’t want to.

This week’s Rape Monitoring Group report shows that the percentage of reported rapes (excluding sexual assaults) where the CPS prosecuted the suspect has fallen in Greater Manchester.

It decreased from 20% in 2013/14 to 18% in 2014/15 for adult victims, and from 36% to 28% for children.

Financial year

Percentage of adult rape cases leading to prosecution in Greater Manchester

Percentage of adult rape cases leading to prosecution in England and Wales

2010/11

26%

18%

2011/12

30%

17%

2012/13

25%

18%

2013/14

20%

17%

2014/15

18%

12%

 

The RMG noted that sometimes victims wanted other outcomes than a criminal prosecution, such as protection from the suspect or measures safeguarding children if the suspect works with them.

In cases where the victim is a child it may be decided that it is not in the victim’s best interests to prosecute.

Financial year

Percentage of child rape cases leading to prosecution in Greater Manchester

Percentage of child rape cases leading to prosecution in England and Wales

2010/11

40%

33%

2011/12

48%

33%

2012/13

29%

30%

2013/14

36%

29%

2014/15

28%

23%

 

The report suggested that more people may be reporting historical sexual abuse following investigations such as Operation Yewtree into offences by Jimmy Saville and other high-profile figures.

Anyone who has experienced rape or sexual violence can contact St Mary’s 24 hour helpline on 0161 2766515.