Skip to main content

Sexual Offences

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted on charges relating to having sexual intercourse with an underage person in each police force in (i) England and (ii) Wales in each of the last three years; what percentage of these cases resulted in a custodial sentence; and what the average length of the prison term was. (132152)

The number of people (a) prosecuted and (b) convicted of charges related to having sexual intercourse with an underage person can be viewed in the following table.

Court proceedings data for 2006 will be available in the autumn of 2007.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates court, found guilty at all courts, the percentage of defendants given immediate custody, and the average sentence length given to defendants sentenced at all courts for offences relating to various sexual offences with persons under the age of 16 years old by police force area in England and Wales, 2003 to 20051,2,3,4

Prosecuted

Found guilty

Force

2003

2004

2005

2003

2004

2005

Avon and Somerset

166

115

108

70

76

47

Bedfordshire

34

54

60

28

25

28

Cambridgeshire

50

58

58

24

35

34

Cheshire

88

79

79

42

48

44

City of London

2

1

Cleveland

42

41

49

23

35

26

Cumbria

39

50

40

30

27

25

Derbyshire

104

99

113

57

69

48

Devon and Cornwall

65

68

74

64

79

78

Dorset

37

38

42

27

13

27

Durham

69

65

74

41

47

40

Essex

84

96

65

42

48

46

Gloucestershire

38

39

40

23

15

22

Greater Manchester

301

268

257

172

144

166

Hampshire

205

205

149

98

104

86

Hertfordshire

64

87

69

31

48

30

Humberside

78

85

76

49

55

54

Kent

104

102

80

76

57

71

Lancashire

149

171

165

82

103

82

Leicestershire

84

97

88

52

59

48

Lincolnshire

51

86

64

.29

38

32

Merseyside

89

107

73

58

75

53

Metropolitan Police

540

442

462

219

217

176

Norfolk

38

53

54

37

36

45

North Yorkshire

52

52

44

33

42

26

Northamptonshire

47

43

36

37

39

26

Northumbria

128

101

96

78

75

56

Nottinghamshire

120

146

111

59

73

63

South Yorkshire

98

97

96

78

77

72

Staffordshire

127

121

91

63

67

51

Suffolk

51

47

58

24

30

41

Surrey

59

40

63

26

29

16

Sussex

103

82

94

56

46

41

Thames Valley

109

103

138

58

61

60

Warwickshire

29

28

35

22

19

21

West Mercia

97

112

120

65

74

80

West Midlands

339

330

224

168

188

137

West Yorkshire

226

234

188

103

160

130

Wiltshire

52

51

53

37

37

19

England

4,156

4,092

3,788

2,281

2,470

2,148

Dyfed-Powys

34

53

29

19

20

24

Gwent

66

85

86

38

47

37

North Wales

50

74

58

29

25

25

South Wales

129

151

84

68

68

50

Wales

279

363

257

154

160

136

England and Wales

4,435

4,455

4,045

2,435

2,630

2,284

Immediate Custody5 (percentage)Average sentence length (months)5

Force

2003

2004

2005

2003

2004

2005

Avon and Somerset

66

69

65

38.9

48.8

35.7

Bedfordshire

79

89

68

32.5

41.7

40.7

Cambridgeshire

64

74

65

31

29.9

37.6

Cheshire

68

64

68

40.7

52.1

49.8

City of London

Cleveland

77

66

72

55.7

47

59.3

Cumbria

79

78

57

32.5

34

42.3

Derbyshire

67

68

63

43.2

35.9

42.6

Devon and Cornwall

56

78

65

55.3

37.8

41.3

Dorset

70

69

78

43.7

37.6

29

Durham

50

55

55

28.4

35.5

43.7

Essex

74

65

73

33.6

37

30.7

Gloucestershire

70

63

65

40.9

43.7

25.3

Greater Manchester

62

56

66

39.3

38

38.1

Hampshire

64

64

67

32.6

36

48.2

Hertfordshire

87

69

87

45.6

30.1

45.1

Humberside

63

65

68

34.6

39.8

41.8

Kent

70

72

71

33.6

37.8

42.2

Lancashire

78

71

73

31.1

38.8

50.4

Leicestershire

63

57

61

50.8

45

38.5

Lincolnshire

45

59

69

44.4

38.2

46.7

Merseyside

61

78

76

35.7

43.9

55.2

Metropolitan Police

72

72

74

43.5

46.1

44.1

Norfolk

86

81

77

40.8

31.4

34.1

North Yorkshire

56

74

81

33.2

48.3

51.1

Northamptonshire

84

73

77

44.8

49.2

41.9

Northumbria

50

56

63

48.8

42.5

35

Nottinghamshire

67

58

61

43

39.4

46.1

South Yorkshire

62

74

60

46.3

45.1

61.1

Staffordshire

73

51

55

41.5

35.2

44.2

Suffolk

74

71

67

48.1

35

38.8

Surrey

52

52

63

26.1

20.8

28.5

Sussex

75

78

73

44.4

51.3

41.8

Thames Valley

66

68

69

42.4

41.6

45.8

Warwickshire

54

44

82

39

41

48.2

West Mercia

65

60

61

34.2

27.7

25.6

West Midlands

56

52

64

38.8

39.4

51.4

West Yorkshire

49

63

63

34.3

44.8

43.8

Wiltshire

60

64

72

42.8

49.7

22.8

England

65

65

67

39.9

40.5

42.9

Dyfed-Powys

50

65

74

31.6

57.8

39.9

Gwent

62

60

72

51.7

42.6

32.1

North Wales

48

73

68

38.6

39.3

37.2

South Wales

75

70

60

41.3

56

43

Wales

64

67

67

94.3

118.4

104.1

England and Wales

65

65

67

40.1

41.2

42.7

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes data from the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force on 1 May 2003.

4 Data includes those offences where there has been unlawful sexual intercourse and the age of the victim has been specified as being under 16 years of age in the offence description.

5 Care should be taken when using the immediate custody and average sentence length data, as in a number of instances force data is based on less than 100 cases. Immediate custody data includes those offenders given life sentences etc. (and may include indeterminate sentences). Average sentence length (months) does not include life sentences and indeterminate sentence lengths.

Source:

RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice