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Crime

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many recorded rape offences in Northern Ireland, including attempted rape, led to convictions in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) age and (b) gender of the victims. (180631)

The information is not available in the requested format. At present Northern Ireland court proceedings and sentencing data sources do not include victim information in relation to the commission of an offence.

Table 1 shows the number of recorded rape offences (including attempted rape) from 1998-99 by age group and gender of victim while table 2 outlines the number of prosecutions and convictions for rape offences (including attempted rape) for the calendar years 1996 to 2005 (the latest available years). Court data are collated on the principal offence rule; so only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Recorded crime data cannot be routinely reconciled with prosecution and conviction data as the former relate to the number of offences whereas the latter relate to the number of offenders brought before the courts. In addition, recorded crime data denote each offence as it has been initially recorded and this may differ from the offence for which a suspect or suspects are subsequently proceeded against in the courts.

Government are committed to improving the rates of successful prosecution in rape cases. Specialist police units, staffed by highly skilled and trained personnel, are dedicated to enhancing the service to victims of rape and sexual assault and both PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service are seeking to develop models of best investigative practice so that more offences can achieve the threshold for prosecution.

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 address these issues through a robust action plan delivering on strategic objectives in three key areas—crime prevention, better victim support and improved protection and justice measures. The Strategy is to be published this spring.

Table 1: Recorded rape or attempted rape offences by age and gender of victim 1997-98 to 2006-07

Age under 18

Age 18-64

Age 65+

Age unknown

All ages

1997-98

Male

Female

118

149

0

4

271

Total

118

149

0

4

271

1998-99

Male

Female

135

171

3

15

324

Total

135

171

3

15

324

1999-2000

Male

Female

131

160

1

19

311

Total

131

160

1

19

311

2000-01

Male

Female

95

125

1

11

232

Total

95

125

1

11

232

2001-02

Male

Female

108

179

0

5

292

Total

108

179

0

5

292

2002-03

Male

Female

164

192

0

1

357

Total

164

192

0

1

357

2003-041

Male

5

0

1

0

6

Female

165

222

2

0

389

Total

170

222

3

0

395

2004-05

Male

9

7

0

1

17

Female

157

204

2

0

363

Total

166

211

2

1

380

2005-06

Male

20

15

0

0

35

Female

134

218

3

1

356

Total

154

233

3

1

391

2006-07

Male

27

20

0

0

47

Female

151

257

1

1

410

Total

178

277

1

1

457

1 Prior to a change in legislation which took place during 2003/04, males could not be classed as victims of rape.

Source:

Central Statistics Unit, PSN1

Table 2: Number of prosecutions and convictions for rape or attempted rape 1996-2005

Prosecutions

Convictions

1996

69

15

1997

61

21

1998

48

18

1999

36

8

2000

26

10

2001

34

17

2002

30

10

2003

31

10

2004

37

18

2005

30

8

Source:

NIO Statistics and Research Branch