UWE expert available for commentary relating to latest crime statistics and rise in recorded sexual offences

Issue date: 17 October 2013

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Professor Phil Rumney, Professor of Criminal Justice at UWE Bristol is available for expert commentary in relation to the latest crime figures released today.

THE Office for National Statistics (ONS) report shows a marked increase in recorded rapes and other sexual offences (9%) partly resulting from the Jimmy Saville inquiry. The biggest % increases were for male rape complainants (for example, rape of a male child under 16 increased by a huge 56%. The comparative figure for females was 11%, which is still a big increase). Recorded rapes of a male over 16 rose by 21% and for females 3%.

The Office for National Statistics report for the year up to June 2013 states:

“Within victim-based crime, there were decreases across all the main categories of recorded crime compared with the previous year, except for theft from the person (up 8%), shoplifting (up 1%) and sexual offences (up 9%). The latter increase is thought to be partly a 'Yewtree effect', whereby greater numbers of victims have come forward to report historical sexual offences to the police.”

Professor Phil Rumney from Bristol Law School at the University of the West of England has written extensively on the sexual assault of women and men. This includes writing and research about male rape and sexual assault, policing, social attitudes to rape, rape sentencing, defendant anonymity and false rape allegations. He regularly gives talks to the police, judiciary, forensic medical examiners, voluntary sector groups and NGOs concerning male sexual victimisation, the impact of social attitudes on rape law enforcement and false rape allegations.

Professor Rumney said: “The ONS suggests that 'Operation Yewtree' which is linked to the investigation of allegations involving Jimmy Savile may be having a wider effect on reporting rates, particularly in the context of historic allegations of sexual abuse. The increases also reflect long-term reporting increases in cases involving sexual offences and the way in which people have become more confident that the police will take allegations seriously. There is no doubt however, that most rape victims never report to the police. The latest government data, which was published in January, suggested that only 15% of rape victims report to the police. So there is still much work to be done.

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