Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Exclusive: Less than 1 in 5 rape crimes result in a charge by Avon and Somerset police

Investigations

The Bristol Cable can reveal that up to 80% of rapes and sexual assaults recorded by Avon and Somerset Police do not result in a charge of an alleged perpetrator.

Data received by The Bristol Cable in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on the 13/01/15 (See full response) reveals that between 01/12/12 and 12/01/15 less than 20% of crimes recorded as rape, and less than 21% of sexual assaults recorded by the force resulted in the alleged perpetrator receiving a charge or court summons.

This new information comes in the wake of mounting pressure on Police forces around the country, with Avon and Somerset ranked among the worst, to improve their response to crimes and sex crimes in particular and the protection of victims.

The above data corroborates widespread criticism of Police forces regarding the level of recorded sex crimes that result in charges or summons. However forces are also facing allegations of victim neglect due to failures in properly recording sex crimes in the first place.

The FOI data received by The Cable shows that over 8% of sexual assault and rape allegations received by the force resulted in a ‘no crime’ status, and therefore no further police investigation, subject to more information being uncovered.

Whilst the FOI response states that ‘no crime’ designations are subject to “strict rules” and “scrutiny by internal audits and HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) Inspections”, recent evidence suggests these safeguards aren’t sufficient or effective. In the case of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, a report by HMIC published in November 2014 found that the forces’ “Specialist investigation officers do not properly record all reports of rape as crime,” and that “Of the 30 rape no-crimes reviewed, only 18 complied with the National Crime Recording Standard and Home Office Counting Rules”.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary did not respond to a request for comment on this information.

The Bristol Cable will continue to investigate these issues and will respond to any information provided with discretion and confidentiality.

Data received by The Bristol Cable 13/01/15

OffenceCrimeIncidentNo CrimeTotal AllegationsCharged / Summoned
Rape1,03711001,138201
Sexual Assault1,1191881,208244
Total2,15621882,346512

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Comments

Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

Related content

How a media backlash led to a St Paul’s woman’s dramatic release from prison

In 1933 Mary Burridge, a poor mother of five, was sentenced to a month’s hard labour after stealing a few items of food at Easter. But after a national outcry over her treatment, a wealthy lawyer flew to Cardiff to free her from prison.

Bristol rogue trader slapped with criminal order after victims built dossier to expose him

Lewis Thomas, who operated anonymous carpentry businesses on social media, has six months to pay back £5,000 after pleading guilty to fraudulent practices.

‘An intolerable anachronism’: it’s 60 years since the last hanging took place in Bristol

On 17 December 1963, the final judicial execution in our city brought a long history of local executions to an end. We look back on what happened in Horfield in 1963, and the campaign to end the death penalty.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with filmmaker Aodh Breathnach on surviving being stabbed – and documenting its impact on him

With knife crime a tragically common part of life in Bristol and other cities, Neil talks to Aodh about the psychological trauma of being the victim of an attack, and the process of recovery.

St Paul’s, through the eyes of the reverend patrolling for peace

For years, the Reverend Dawnecia Palmer – a United Nations Peacemaker – has worked on Bristol's inner-city streets. After a recent spate of stabbings rocked St Paul's, she's praying for an end to the 'pandemic of the blade'.

Bristol’s top family judge stepping down, to launch project to keep people out of court

Judge Stephen Wildblood lifts the lid on a crisis in public law as he explains his plans to help families get support at community level, out of court.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning