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Covering your tracks

Rise in rape and violence against children "deeply concerning"

16 October 2014

Statistics today announced by the Office of National Statistics have shown an overall drop in crime rates in England and Wales, but the crime statistics recorded over 12 months ending June 2014 show that recorded rape has risen by 29 per cent.

Adam Pemberton, Assistant Chief Executive of Victim Support said of the statistics: “Despite a fall in crime figures, there are still more than seven million crimes per year creating many new crime victims. As a charity, Victim Support aims to make sure they all get the support they need and the respect they deserve.

“It's worrying that there are a third more rapes than before being recorded. There is no room for complacency. It is critical that the police and other agencies understand properly why rape and other sexual offences continue to rise and that they ensure those who report them get the best possible support from the moment they come forward through to court and beyond.

“We hope that these figures reflect that more rape victims are reporting a crime as they feel more confident they will be believed and treated well by the criminal justice system. Any victim of sexual abuse or violence can talk to us to get specialist emotional help, with no obligation to report it to the police.”

It was also shown that over half of crimes against children aged 10-16 years are violent, while two in three of those crimes resulted in injury to the victim. Adam said: “We also need to understand why such a high proportion of crimes against children, who are particularly vulnerable, are violent.

“Support for child victims of crime is patchy and we want to make sure that there are more specialist case workers, such as those people trained by Victim Support, readily available around the country to help child victims of crime.”

The official figures show there has been a 5 per cent rise in hate crime. Adam said: “Hate crime can have a devastating impact on victims, on their self-esteem as well as physical and mental well-being. The police are getting better at recognising and recording when someone has been a victim of a crime because of who they are, thanks to pressure from Victim Support and other organisations.