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 Rape victims see attackers brought to justice

 23/02/2021

Rape victims are more likely to see their attacker brought to court in County Durham and Darlington than anywhere else in the country.

Analysis of Home Office data found that Durham Constabulary had the highest charging rate for rape investigations in England and Wales.

In the six months to September last year, 20 individuals were charged with rape in the force area, meaning there was a charge in 11.8 per cent of all reported rape offences.

The figures are way ahead of the national average of 1.5 per cent and clear of the nearest other police force, which had a charging rate of 8.8 per cent.

Jo Farrell, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, said that the force was making constant efforts to improve charging rates and, when she became Chief Constable in June 2019, placed a fresh focus on high harm crime, including rape, as the force’s top priority.

“I am confident that everyone in Durham Constabulary, from the initial call handler to the attending officer to the investigating officer, understands that,” she said.

“We have put additional resources into our safeguarding teams and have improved on our already close working relationship with the CPS in terms of good case management in our endeavour to deliver quick and timely justice for victims.

“But primarily, these results are about the quality of our investigations, an emphasis on good victim care and, above all, the dedication and commitment of all our people right across the organisation.”

Steve White, Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said: “It is encouraging to see such progress being made in an area where in the past the figures showed a depressingly low charge rate.

“Durham Police have made significant improvement which should be congratulated.”