The BBC reports that police forces are failing to record up to 40% of rape claims, with vast differences in recording across the country. When a victim reports their rape to the police, this should be recorded whether or not the case is taken to court, unless the claim has been verified as false or reported to the wrong force.
In Northumbria, there were 382 reports of rape. Of those, 172 never made it into official Home Office figures and that was before any were “no-crimed”.
Police in Durham said only five of 130 cases had been “no-crimed” yet the figures showed a further 83 cases were never officially recorded in the first place. In contrast, forces in Humberside, Gloucestershire, and Northamptonshire recorded at least 90% of cases for investigation. Northern Constabulary, which covers the Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland, puts every case on its records.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary demanded improvements in recording rape claims two years ago but has admitted there is still cause for concern.
The figures also showed hundreds of complaints lodged in the year to March 2008 never went forward to a full investigation.
These figures suggest that some sections of the police force are still failing to take rape and rape victims seriously, and this can only have a negative effect on survivors’ fight for justice and willingness to report rape in the first place.