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Sexual Offences

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to gather specific information from local police forces on the ages of victims of sexual crimes in order to (a) centrally record and (b) centrally analyse the data. (255719)

The Home Office is currently developing a new system for receiving recorded crime data from police forces. This is designed to enable forces to submit information in the form of individual crime records. Data, once validated, will give the Home Office access to more detailed information about victims of crimes, including the age of victims. We expect this system to become fully operational during 2009-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 were recorded in 2007-08, broken down by offence; what percentage of such offences was proceeded against at court; and what percentage resulted in (a) a conviction and (b) a sanction detection. (256689)

The information is not available in the form requested.

Table 1 gives the number of offences recorded in 2007-08 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 2007 and is taken from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

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 count 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—2007-08

Offence

Number of offences

Number of sanction detections

Sexual assault on a male aged 13 and over

1,315

351

Sexual assault on a male child under 13

1,118

354

Rape of a female aged 16 and over

7,613

1,567

Rape of a female child under 16

2,418

680

Rape of a female child under 13

1,472

591

Rape of a male aged 16 and over

334

49

Rape of a male child under 16

235

109

Rape of a male child under 13

427

175

Sexual assault on a female aged 13 and over

15,790

4,082

Sexual assault on a female child under 13

3,976

1,445

Sexual activity involving a child under 13

1,836

659

Sexual activity involving child under 16

3,100

1,035

Causing sexual activity without consent

217

57

Incest or familial sexual offences

1,125

429

Sexual activity etc with a person with a mental disorder

128

43

Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

110

38

Trafficking for sexual exploitation

56

25

Abuse of position of trust of a sexual nature

327

234

Sexual grooming

272

124

Other miscellaneous sexual offences

8,727

2,420

Table 2: Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, England and Wales 20071,2,3

Offence

Proceeded against

Found

Sexual assault on a male aged 13 and over

125

74

Sexual assault on a male child under 13

130

77

Rape and attempted rape of a female aged 16 and over

1,290

421

Rape and attempted rape of a female child under 16

648

276

Rape and attempted rape of a female child under 13

227

93

Rape and attempted rape of a male aged 16 and over

52

17

Rape and attempted rape of a male child under 16

72

24

Rape and attempted rape of a male child under 13

73

41

Sexual assault on a female aged 13 and over

2,225

1,154

Sexual assault on a female child under 13

582

342

Sexual activity involving child under 13

337

206

Sexual activity involving child under 16

692

620

Causing sexual activity without consent

53

19

Incest or familial sexual offences

131

99

Sexual activity etc. with a person with a mental disorder

30

19

Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

43

27

Trafficking for sexual exploitation

25

15

Abuse of position of trust of a sexual nature

51

50

Sexual grooming

41

51

Other miscellaneous sexual offences

1,071

763

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 brought, or for a different offence.