Monday, 21 September 2009


The BBC gives the results of a Freedom of Information request that shows that several UK police forces have been failing to record numerous reports of rape. In Northumbria, almost half the reported cases were not recorded. In Durham, almost 40% were not recorded.

Here's the letter I've sent to my MP on the matter.

The BBC reports at on the failure of some police forces to record allegations of rape in line with Home Office guidance. Durham police force is one of those specifically named, with almost 40% of reported cases not being officially recorded.

Estimates from the British Crime Survey and other sources suggest that 90% of rapes are never reported at all, and the Home Office's own research (HORS293. Kelly, Lovett and Regan: "A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases.") identified failures and inconsistencies in police handling of rape cases as a major reason for missing reports.

Durham police force also has one of the lowest conviction rates for rape in the country, something which this failure to even properly record almost half of reported offences is surely contributing to.

What steps are being taken by Durham police force to address these failings, and what pressure can you as MP for [constituency] place on the police force to do so swiftly and effectively?