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Crime: Rape

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 30 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether “no crime” designation under police logging arrangements for rape cases are entered into national statistics on rape. [HL202]

If an offence of rape is “no crimed” then that is reported monthly on the recorded crime return made to the Home Office. However, offences which have been “no crimed” do not feature in the recorded crime statistics published by the Home Office.

Once any offence has been recorded, it should be classified as a “no crime” only if one of the following criteria is satisfied: the crime was committed outside the jurisdiction of the police force in which it was recorded; where following the report of an incident which has subsequently been recorded as a crime, additional verifiable information is available which determines that no notifiable crime has been committed; if the crime, as alleged, constitutes part of a crime already recorded; if the reported incident was recorded as a crime in error.

Further explanation of the “no crime” principle is contained in Section C of the Home Office Counting Rules for Recorded Crime. A copy of the rules is available at general06.pdf.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish statistics on the reporting of rape which identify the total number of accusations (a) treated as false accusations following an inquiry by the police; and (b) which are withdrawn by the accuser. [HL253]

Such statistics are not collected as part of the recorded crime series and there are currently no plans to do.

While there can be problems in ascertaining the number of false reports for any crime reported to the police, there is no evidence to suggest that a significant number of false allegations of rape are being made. Home Office Research Study 293, A Gap or a Chasm? Attrition in Reported Rape Cases published in 2005, which aimed to explore the issue of attrition in rape cases, also looked into the issue of false allegations. In-depth analysis of case files as part of the study indicated that approximately 3 per cent of cases reported to the police were false allegations. None of these cases got beyond the investigative stage of the criminal justice process. A copy of the research study is available at

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In how many cases concerning rape referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to the Court of Appeal for review DNA has been taken or taken and retained relating to the accuser. [HL255]

I understand that the Criminal Cases Review Commission is unaware that it has dealt with any cases where DNA samples have been obtained from the alleged rape victim as part of the commission's investigation. A sample may, however, have been taken by the original investigators for elimination purposes.