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Sexual Offences Act 2003

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 22 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each year since its entry into force, broken down by offence; and what percentage of these offences (a) resulted in court proceedings against suspected perpetrators, (b) led to a conviction and (c) resulted in a sanction detection. (196017)

The information is not available in the form requested.

Table 1 gives the number of offences recorded for the offence classifications which came into force with the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It also gives the number of offences detected by means of a sanction detection. Table 2 shows the numbers of defendants proceeded against and found guilty at all courts for the years 2004 to 2006, and is taken from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. Figures for crimes and sanction detections in 2004-05 and those proceeded against and found guilty in 2004 are not for complete 12 month periods, as the Sexual Offence Act 2003 was enacted in May 2004.

The figures given in Table 2 relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Recorded crime and court proceedings statistics are from two different databases and recorded in quite different ways. Recorded crime data are provided on a financial year basis and counts offences whereas court proceedings data are on a calendar year basis and count offenders. Therefore, these two separate data-sets are not directly comparable.

Table 1 Offences recorded under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and detected by means of a sanction detection

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Offence

Number of offences

Number of sanction detections

Number of offences

Number of sanction detections

Number of offences

Number of sanction detections

Sexual assault on a male aged 13 and over

1,316

297

1,428

370

1,450

397

Sexual assault on a male child under 13

1,227

291

1,394

456

1,237

441

Rape of a female aged 16 and over

8,192

1,578

8,725

1,843

8,228

1,744

Rape of a female child under 16

3,014

868

3,153

932

2,853

805

Rape of a female child under 13

970

276

1,388

496

1,524

553

Rape of a male aged 16 and over

444

46

438

70

413

58

Rape of a male child under 16

322

99

292

116

261

83

Rape of a male child under 13

297

94

364

129

458

148

Sexual assault on a female aged 13 and over

15,087

2,967

17,158

4,413

16,887

4,355

Sexual assault on a female child under 13

4,391

1,151

4,647

1,632

4,249

1,494

Sexual activity involving child under 1 3

1,510

405

1,950

629

1,937

636

Sexual activity involving child under 16

2,546

696

3,283

1,124

3,210

1,058

Causing sexual activity without consent 1

239

57

744

596

224

58

Incest or familial sexual offences

713

178

966

330

1,344

406

Sexual activity etc. with a person with a mental disorder

104

11

139

29

163

43

Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

99

28

124

84

101

51

Trafficking for sexual exploitation

21

8

33

23

43

22

Abuse of position of trust of a sexual nature

682

562

463

385

361

265

Sexual grooming

186

49

237

101

322

125

Other miscellaneous sexual offences

11,593

2,217

11,363

2,769

10,212

2,652

1 The increase in 2005-06 was accounted for by a large number of offences that were dealt with by the Norfolk Constabulary.

Table 2 Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Sexual Offences Act2003, England and Wales 2004-061,2,3,4

2004

2005

2006

Offence

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Sexual assault on a male aged 13 and over

46

7

129

52

136

64

Sexual assault on a male child under 13

27

9

119

65

118

63

Rape of a female aged 16 and over

1,425

372

1,571

385

1,406

426

Rape of a female child under 16

1,030

316

880

282

749

271

Rape of a female child under 1 3

61

5

181

60

217

90

Rape of a male aged 16 and over

56

12

54

16

61

20

Rape of a male child under 16

94

35

83

38

66

21

Rape of a male child under 1 3

23

2

56

14

68

34

Sexual assault on a female aged 13 and over

699

176

2,200

944

2,356

1,123

Sexual assault on a female child under 1 3

162

41

495

212

531

315

Sexual activity involving child under 13

97

30

304

123

293

181

Sexual activity involving child under 16

182

74

676

456

697

644

Causing sexual activity without consent

27

4

61

13

38

16

Incest or familial sexual offences

32

11

109

58

116

82

Sexual activity etc. with a person with a mental disorder

21

1

34

18

29

15

Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

18

2

35

8

29

17

Trafficking for sexual exploitation

5

0

26

12

40

15

Abuse of position of trust of a sexual nature

472

401

152

132

71

66

Sexual grooming

9

3

28

25

43

36

Other miscellaneous sexual offences

774

433

1,078

656

1,108

725

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 courts and police forces. 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 The found guilty column can often exceed the number proceeded against when a conviction takes place in a different month to when the proceeding was originally bought, or for a different offence.