Reports of rape rise but charge rate decreases, new data shows

29 Aug 2019 11:35 AM

The number of rape charges has decreased, despite an increase in the amount of rapes reported, data released today shows.

The multi-agency Rape Monitoring Group (RMG) has published data showing how cases of rape were dealt with at all stages of the criminal justice system in 2017/18. The data covers every police force in England and Wales.

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Rape Monitoring Group dashboard 2017/18

At a national level the data showed:

The group released data taken from the Home Office, Office for National Statistics, Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice. The data are presented in the form of an online dashboard covering all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales, as well as the British Transport Police.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams, chair of the group, said:

“Rape is one of the most serious crimes dealt with by the criminal justice system. It is therefore vital that information and statistics about rape are made as transparent as possible, so that agencies can refine prevention strategies and give victims the justice they deserve.

“Today’s data gives crucial information about how incidents of rape are processed by the criminal justice system, providing detailed numbers and figures about local areas.

“We hope it will help police, prosecutors, and the entire system, to improve their work to provide justice for victims, convict the guilty and do all they can to prevent this most heinous of crimes.”

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Rape Monitoring Group dashboard 2017/18


  1. The Rape Monitoring Group (RMG) is a national multi-agency group coordinated by HMICFRS. The group was established in 2007 to support and challenge progress across the criminal justice system in improving the response to rape. Since 2014 it has been publishing reports containing data from across the criminal justice system on rape. The RMG comprises representatives from HMICFRS, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, College of Policing, Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, Home Office, local policing bodies, Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Ministry of Justice and voluntary sector partners. HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams chairs the group.
  2. This dataset has been released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on behalf of the RMG.
  3. The dataset contains only data that has been previously published, but brought together for the first time. The data was gathered from different sources, over different timescales. This prevents direct comparison between local areas and means that it is not possible to track the results of specific cases.
  4. This dataset includes
    1. Police-recorded data on rape comprising
      1. the number of recorded rapes;
      2. how many rapes were initially recorded as such, but then declassified to transferred or cancelled records (formerly no-crimes); and
      3. outcomes (by type) for police rape investigations;
    2. Data from the Crown Prosecution Service, comprising:
      1. the number of cases, by suspect, referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the force for a decision on whether or not to charge with rape, and the number of defendants charged with rape;
      2. the number of prosecutions and the number of convictions, by defendant; and
      3. the reasons recorded for cases that do not result in a conviction.
    3. Data from the Ministry of Justice, comprising:
      1. the number of prosecutions and convictions;
      2. the time taken from charge to completion of proceedings; and
      3. the average custodial sentence lengths for convicted offenders.
  5. The data reflect the most up to date figures that have been released.
  6. Comparisons between forces need to be made with care. Full caveats are presented throughout the document, alongside the relevant data sets.
  7. For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm, Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
  8. HMICFRS’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729.