HC Deb 14 June 1993 vol 226 cc433-4W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by year for the last five years, and for the current year to date(a) the number of cases of (i) rape and (ii) attempted rape of women reported and (b) the number of successful convictions that ensued.

Mr. Maclean

Information on the number of offences recorded by the police and the number of males convicted of rape is contained in the table.

England and Wales
Year Number of offences recorded1 Number of males convicted
Rape Attempted rape Other2
1988 2,855 413 79 7
1989 2,305 471 111 6
1990 3,391 455 78 8
1991 4,045 466 64 7
1992 4,142 3 3 3
1 Offences of attempted rape are included in the rape classification and cannot be separately identified.
2 Includes man having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman who is a defective (Sexual Offences Act 1956 S7 as amended by Mental Health Act 1959, S127); male member of staff of hospital or mental nursing home having unlawful sexual intercourse with female patient (Mental Health Act 1959 S128(l)(a)): and man having unlawful sexual intercouse with mentally disordered female patient who is subject to this care (Mental Health Act 1959 S1 28(1)(b)).
3 Not yet available.

Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken since the publication of his Department's research and planning unit paper 71 relating to rape.

Mr. Maclean

This research examined court cases dating from 1985 and was published in March of this year. Government policies on rape since the time of the original research have focused on achieving improvements in the treatment of victims and in encouraging them to report these crimes. As the research paper acknowledges, important changes in the handling of rape cases have also occurred, with the establishment of the Crown Prosecution Service and the issue of clear guidance from the Court of Appeal on the sentences which should be imposed on those convicted of violent and sexual crime.

Following Home Office guidance in 1986, the police are increasingly alert to the special needs of rape victims. Rape examination units have been set up. The aim is to treat victims sensitively and to provide them with information about medical support and counselling services. It is believed that this has encouraged more women to come forward to report to the police that they have been raped.

Action against rape also involves a range of measures designed to ensure that offenders are brought to justice, punished appropriately, and treated, where possible, so as to reduce the risk of their re-offending. The maximum penalty for attempted rape was increased to life imprisonment in the Sexual Offences Act 1985, and anonymity for rape victims was strengthened in the Criminal Justice Act 1988. In addition, the Criminal Justice Act 1991 provides courts with powers to impose sentences which reflect the need to protect the public from serious harm.