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Crime: Rape

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 October (HL Deb, col. 868), whether cases of alleged rape are recorded onthe basis of uncorroborated evidence of the complainant that they were subject to a sexual act without having given consent.[HL7959]

The recording of crime is governed by the National Crime Recording Standard which states:

“All reports of incidents, whether from victims, witnesses or third parties and whether crime related or not, will result in the registration of an incident report by the police. Following the initial registration, an incident will be recorded as a crime (notifiable offence) if, on the balance of probability: (a) the circumstances, as reported, amount to a crime defined by law (the police will determine this, based on their knowledge of the law and counting rules), and (b) there is no credible evidence to the contrary”.

Once recorded, a crime would remain recorded unless there was additional verifiable information to disprove that a crime had occurred. Specifically for offences of rape, if someone reports having been raped and the circumstances as reported amount to an offence of rape as defined by law but the alleged offender insists that she or he consented, a crime of rape will be recorded.