Daily Echo News Article – Almost half of reported Hampshire rape cases are dropped – 22 March 2021

SHOCKING figures have revealed that almost half of all rape cases in Hampshire are dropped by the complainant. Sexual abuse victims across Hampshire and the rest of the county often face lengthy court delays. Experts even say they risk being retraumatised by their experiences of the criminal justice system.

Furthermore, many victims give up seeking justice because they feel they are not believed or that they are the ones under investigation.

Home Office data shows that of the 836 rape investigations closed by Hampshire Constabulary between April and September last year, 83 per cent were dropped due to problems gathering evidence.

In more than half of those cases, police said that the alleged victim no longer supported the investigation.

This is despite the fact a suspect had already been identified in 89 per cent of them.

Men, who are typically less likely to report rape, made far fewer allegations than women – 93 compared to 743 – and were less likely to drop their case.

The figures also show that just 5 per cent of rape cases closed by Hampshire Constabulary in that period resulted in a charge or summons.

However, the “figures come as no surprise” to the Hampton Trust, an organisation which combats domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV).Commenting on the figures, Deputy CEO, Tracy Kent said: “Women and girls are being victimised daily. The criminal Justice system is flawed when dealing with both domestic and sexual violence cases, rape convictions remain at an all-time low with cases taking as long as two years to progress from report to court. To improve the safety of women’s and girls, education is key to raising awareness and understanding what healthy and respectful behaviour in relationships looks like.

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