While the media is currently showering us in royal wedding loveliness and chit chat about bridesmaids, some very important and worrying numbers are flying under the radar. According to Scotland Yard’s latest figures, the amount of people being convicted of rape and murder in London has fallen to below 30,000 – its lowest level in 15 years.
In fact, the amount of reported rapes resulting in a charge has fallen from 13 per cent to just 7 per cent, while one in three murders is left unsolved, compared with nine in ten being solved in previous years.
This is hugely worrying for everyone, but especially women, with an estimated 85,000 women raped in the UK every year in comparison to 12,000 men. Gender aside, victims in the UK’s capital are seemingly being failed by its police force, making people less likely to see justice in 2018 than in 2002.
What makes this all the more shocking is that the number of rapes being reported to the police is allegedly on the increase “due to an increased willingness by victims to trust the criminal justice system after suffering a devastating attack”.
With more reports you’d expect more convictions, but it appears the justice system is now failing victims of sexual attacks by hitting this new low.
The Met responded to the figures by saying: “Sanction detection rates for rape are of concern to the [Met] and we continue to work with our partners to improve our practices, safeguard victims, build their confidence, and bring more perpetrators to justice.”
“On average, a rape case can take 12-18 months to investigate and come to court so many of those from 2017/18 are still proceeding through the criminal justice system.”
The Guardian has also reported that the amount of police in London’s Metropolitan Police force has fallen below the 30,000 threshold, meaning there are now less police on our streets than in 2003. It also notes that the Met has cut £600m from its budget since 2011, with £300m in savings yet to be made.
However, it responded by saying that a recruitment drive in 2019 is set to see police numbers rise from 29,700 to 30,500.