Forces recorded the highest number of rapes and the second highest number of sexual offences in a 12-month period.
27 February 2022
Police saw a “large increase” in the number of rapes and sexual offences recorded in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.
Forces in England and Wales recorded the highest number of rapes and the second highest number of sexual offences in a 12-month period, figures showed.
There were 61,158 rapes recorded in the year to June 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), up 10% from the previous period (55,779). This was the highest ever recorded annual figure to date and included 17,285 offences between April and June – also the highest quarterly figure.
The figures were the first to include the weeks and months immediately after the kidnap, rape and murder of Ms Everard in March.
The second highest number of sexual offences was also recorded in the 12 months to June (164,763), an 8% increase compared to 152,659 the previous year. This was driven by the highest ever recorded quarterly figure (48,553) for the same three-month period in 2021.
Rape accounted for 37% of all sexual offences recorded by police.
The ONS said the figures showed a “large increase in the recording of rape and sexual offences during the latest April to June 2021 quarter”.
It suggested the rise could be due to an increase in victims’ willingness to report incidents – “potentially as a result of high-profile cases and campaigns in recent times” – or possibly because more people were coming forward as lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic eased. But it urged caution in interpreting the data.
The latest available figures indicate this theme may have continued, with forces recording the highest number of rapes as well as sexual offences in a 12-month period.
There were 63,136 rapes recorded in the year to September, up 13% from the previous period (56,119), according to the most recently published ONS data.
This was the highest recorded annual figure to date and included 17,419 offences between July and September – the highest quarterly figure.
The highest number of sexual offences was also recorded in the 12 months to September (170,973), a 12% increase compared to 152,620 in the same period the previous year. This is driven by “noticeable increases since April 2021”, the ONS added.