Criticism over number of rape charges

FEWER than one in seven rape allegations in Suffolk results in a charge, new figures have revealed.Between August 2006 and July this year, Suffolk Constabulary recorded 173 reports of rape - but just 24 (14pc) resulted in a charge, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

FEWER than one in seven rape allegations in Suffolk results in a charge, new figures have revealed.

Between August 2006 and July this year, Suffolk Constabulary recorded 173 reports of rape - but just 24 (14pc) resulted in a charge, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show.

Charities supporting rape victims accused police and prosecutors of not taking allegations seriously enough but police chiefs insisted they “vigorously” sought to prosecute offenders.

Ruth Hall, from charity Women Against Rape, said Suffolk had the second lowest conviction rate for rape in the country.

“A lot of times they say there is insufficient evidence but in our experience there often is evidence, it's not gathered or it's lost or it's not presented properly to the CPS,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the investigation of serious sexual offences could be “complex and challenging”.

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“Suffolk Constabulary is working closely with the CPS to enhance both detection and conviction rates.

“Suffolk remains one of the safest places to live in the country. We take all allegations of a sexual offence seriously and all are subject of a significant investigation. “

A spokesperson from CPS Suffolk said rape allegations were treated “very seriously”.

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