Staffordshire Police see shock 76 per cent rise in rape reports
A TEAM of detectives is being brought in to investigate a 76 per cent increase in reported rape cases sparked by the Jimmy Savile scandal
Staffordshire Police are launching the dedicated team for serious sexual assaults after receiving 268 rape allegations between April and December.
That compares with 153 reports over the same period in 2011.
Senior officers today admitted many of the allegations have been made by victims who now have the confidence to report abuse following the Savile scandal.
****Best Deals**** Van Insurance for 17-24 Yr Old Drivers - Contact Insure365 on 01782 898188 for a quotation, Free Legal Protection Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Tuesday, June 25 2013
Most of the allegations are made against family members and date back years.
Assistant Chief Constable Jane Sawyers said: "We are now hearing from people who would never previously have considered speaking out about historic rapes in family situations because they now feel able to come forward.
"We are not talking about a sudden problem with stranger rapes in Staffordshire, this is about victim confidence."
Hundreds of victims who were raped or molested over 50 years by the BBC star have only come forward since October after allegations were screened in an ITV documentary.
Staffordshire Police have received 110 rape allegations between October and December, compared with 53 the year before.
The increase comes as the force's detection rate for serious sexual crimes has fallen to 21.8 per cent – against a target of 31 per cent.
The dedicated team of detectives is being set up to ensure victims are fully supported and cases investigated thoroughly.
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham said: "National publicity has meant people who would never have reported these crimes are now coming forward.
"But rape is a hugely under-reported crime. We never measure increases in rape as being success or failure. We want to encourage victims to come forward.
"We need to break the issue of rapes being under reported before we can move forward."
A total of 538 serious sexual assaults – including rapes – have been reported to the force since April – a 36.5 per cent increase on 394 a year earlier.
Part of the increase is also put down to the opening of the force's new sexual assault referral centre in Cobridge. Staffordshire Women's Aid said requests for the charity's expert support had increased by 70 per cent since the Savile scandal.
Support services manager Annette Atherton said: "Calls to our helpline have increased phenomenally but I'm sure there is much more out there.
"Victims still find it very difficult to come forward, in some cases because they weren't believed in the past, because they're embarrassed or worried other people will find out. It is a hugely courageous thing for them to do."
Victims wanting to report a rape allegation should call police on 101. For advice, call Staffordshire Women's Aid's 24-hour confidential helpline on 0870 2700123.