Detective Superintendent Rick Hatton has issued a statement following the publication of figures which show Lincolnshire Police has the highest record of dropping rape cases across England and Wales.
Data showing how each force responded to reports of rape and how many went on to be classified as ‘no crimes’ was compiled by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and released today (Friday). HMIC oversees the 43 police forces across England and Wales.
In Lincolnshire, 101 reports of adult rape were made to police between April 1, 2013, and January 28, 2004, 23 of which went on to be classified as ‘no crimes’.
Lincolnshire has the highest record, with a 33 per cent ‘no crime’ rate. Leicestershire followed closely with 29 per cent of rape cases dropped. Both are significantly higher than the 12 per cent national average.
In a statement, Det Supt Hatton said: “In Lincolnshire we are committed to investigating reports of rape and other sexual offences in a thorough meticulous manner.
“We have a specialist unit known as our ‘Emerald Team’ made up of highly trained and motivated officers and staff. As a result of this we have a detection rate of 23 per cent and the second highest charge to conviction rate in the country.
“Thanks to the hard work put in by our partners and our own staff in the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) we are ranked number one in the country in terms of the services we commit to victim support.
“The figures released by the HMIC in respect of reported adult rapes refer to the period 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. In that period 110 adult rapes where recorded of which, after thorough investigations it was subsequently decided 36 had not taken place. They were then filed under the ‘No Crime’ category.
“This ‘no crime’ rate reflects our ethical recording of crime. It shows that we investigate all allegations of rape.
“Lincolnshire Police record reported offences as early as we can. This demonstrates transparency in our investigations. It also helps us to obtain statistical information such as crime trends and series of offences. It also enables us to capture and assess criminal intelligence.
“We record crime and ‘no crime’ offences in an ethical, accurate manner in line with National Crime Recording Standards (NCRS). We are only able to classify a crime as a ‘no crime’ when additional verifiable information comes to light after recording. When a rape is reported the initial responding officer is responsible for victim care, scene identification and protection, etc. The investigation is then dealt with by our aforementioned force dedicated sexual offences investigation ‘Emerald Team’.
“They are on-call round the clock. If the officer who initially attended the incident has not submitted a crime report the Emerald team will do so as soon as the victim confirms what has happened.
“If it is decided that the offence has not been committed an in depth report must be submitted. This must detail all the information and evidence which verifies and supports the conclusion that the offence did not happen. The report is ultimately submitted to crime management bureau supervisors trained in NCRS compliance.
“Our force Crime Registrar, a former Detective Inspector, also personally examines and audits every case where an adult rape has been classified as ‘No Crime.’
“We cannot entirely explain why the percentage of rape ‘no crimes’ in Lincolnshire is higher than in other areas but we are affected by the relatively low level of such crimes in Lincolnshire. This means that small variations in numbers can make large differences in percentage terms.”