The following table shows the number of rape offences (including attempted rape) reported and cleared by the police by means of charge or summons from 2001-02 to 2006-07.
Reported Number cleared by means of a charge or summons 2002-03 357 46 2003-04 395 82 2004-05 380 67 2005-06 391 64 2006-07 457 54
Number cleared by means of a charge or summons
The following table shows the number of people convicted of rape in the calendar years 2001-05, the last year for which data are available.
Number of persons convicted of rape 2001 12 2002 8 2003 8 2004 15 2005 4
Number of persons convicted of rape
The Government are committed to improving the rates of successful prosecution in rape cases. Specialist police units, staffed by highly skilled personnel, are dedicated to enhancing the service to victims of rape and sexual assault. Both PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service are seeking to develop models of best investigative practice so that more cases can achieve the evidential threshold for prosecution. Government are also currently consulting on draft legislation which would provide enhanced levels of public protection, including the introduction of robust new sentences for dealing with dangerous sexual and violent offenders.
The Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Health and Social and Personal Services have also jointly developed, and consulted on, a draft regional strategy for addressing sexual violence in Northern Ireland which will specifically examine the factors which contribute to the attrition rate in relation to sexual offences. The strategy is scheduled to be published in early 2008. As part of that process we have already made significant progress, in partnership with the medical profession and voluntary sector, in developing proposals for a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) in Northern Ireland.