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Focus on rape and sexual assault cases

Increasing the confidence of rape and sexual assault victims to report the crime and providing them with more support to do so

Rape and sexual assault cases are a key focus in the Commissioner’s Police and crime plan.  There are two main objectives relating to this area: to increase the confidence of victims to come forward and to continue to improve the support they receive from the police and partner agencies. We therefore regularly review police performance in this area.
 
Devon and Cornwall has one of the highest rates of recorded adult and child rape nationally. Non reporting of crimes of rape and sexual assault is a particular problem that needs to be dealt with. The Commissioner is extremely focussed on encouraging victims to report these offences and remove barriers to dissuade them from doing so.
 
"At this time it is difficult to be certain about whether the high level of reported cases in Devon and Cornwall is a reflection of reporting confidence, or the amount of actual crime committed." said Pcc Tony Hogg

"Wherever the truth lies, it is important that, when victims come forward, they feel well supported and confident that their crime report will be taken seriously, properly investigated, and the offender brought to justice."
 
We have reviewed local and national police data and sought to tap into the experience and understanding of partner agencies on this issue. The HMIC Rape Monitoring Group Digest provides further very welcome evidence to help build our understanding further.
 
We will continue to scrutinise the police performance in this area, particularly in the consistency of response from officers and the experience of victims when they do come forward, and work with other agencies to enable more successful criminal justice outcomes.
 

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