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More rape victims going to police to report attacks


A growing number of rape victims are overcoming their mistrust or fear of the police and courts and reporting the crimes committed against them, police believe.

Leicestershire Police last week reported that overall recorded crime in the city and county has fallen steeply in the past year.

However, the end-of-year figures also showed an 11 per cent increase in serious sexual assault, including rape.

In the 12 months between April last year and the end of March, the force recorded 742 attacks – compared to 666 in the previous year.

The detective who runs Leicestershire Police's Signal Unit, which investigates serious sexual offences while also supporting victims, believes the rise is down to an increased confidence among victims.

However, Detective Inspector Reme Gibson said some victims are still suffering in silence.

Det Insp Gibson said: "I am confident that the increase of sexual offences is due to an increased reporting and greater confidence in police, the courts and the many partner agencies we now work with – not because our streets are any less safe.

"There were many factors which have historically led victims of such violent sexual crime not to report and among those factors were embarrassment, fear of the court process, stereotypes of how victims are treated and accounts not being believed.

"We have worked hard as a service to ensure we have listened to the views of victims of serious sexual crime in order that we can make any future contact by that victim or others better.

"We now deal with instances of sexual crime holistically.

"We have a rape investigation unit called Signal that deals with both those reporting the crimes and the suspects.

"Having an investigation led from its early stages through to court by one dedicated team ensures that an experienced group of detectives are fully aware of the investigation, can keep the victim updated better and provide the appropriate support and advice."

Rajo Saira, manager of Leicester Rape Crisis, said: "We believe there is an increased awareness

"However, it remains the case that we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

"A lot of good work by the police, the courts and others has given people the confidence to come forward, but there is still a long way to go."

More rape victims going   to police to report attacks

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