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Dramatic rise in reports of sexual offences

Police figures show the annual number of reports in the borough was 126 per cent more than data from 2013

14 January, 2019 — By Nicole Garcia Merida

THE number of sexual offences reported in Westminster has increased dramatically since similar analysis five years ago.

Police figures released to the Westminster Extra show that the annual number of reports in the borough was 126 per cent more than data from 2013 – the steepest rise in London.

Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis for England and Wales, said: “In 2013 the government estimated that only 15 per cent of those that experienced sexual violence reported to the police.

“What we’ve seen over the past five years is a steady increase in victims and survivors coming forth to the police, but that could be attributed to a number of factors.”

She added: “Victims are telling us it’s due to the increase of visibility and general increased willingness of the general public and authorities to believe victims.”

In the past year, Rape Crisis for England and Wales has seen a 46 per cent increase in hits to their website, and a 17 per cent increase in their use of specialist services.

Ms Russell added: “I think the increase in figures more likely reflects a willingness to come forward rather than an actual increase, though it is impossible to say that, hard and fast, because of lack of previous figures on how many victims actually come forward.”

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