Sexual Offences

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd February 2021.

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Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 February (HL12365), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, what assessment they have made of the change in rates of sexual abuse by women reported to police; and what assessment they have made of the impact of police recording suspects' self-identified gender on the number of cases of sexual abuse being recorded as committed by women.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

As set out in my response, information on sexual abuse committed by transgender women is not held centrally. Information on trends in sexual offences recorded by the police is routinely published by the Office for National Statistics. The most recent publication, is available here; https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingseptember2020.

The Office for National Statistics had made it clear that sexual offences recorded by the police do not provide a reliable measure of trends in these types of crime. Sexual offences, including examples of sexual abuse, are underreported and therefore cannot be used to accurately assess changes in perpetrator demographics.

The Government takes all forms of sexual abuse extremely seriously, regardless of between who it takes place or the profile of the perpetrator. Whether it is committed by a woman or a man, sexual abuse in any situation, is unacceptable.

We are taking action to improve outcomes for rape cases through our end-to-end review of the criminal justice response to rape, which commenced in Spring 2019. The review covers from the point of police report through to final outcome in court.

We are committed to ensuring victims receive the support they deserve - the Ministry of Justice has awarded £12 million to 91 rape support centres across England and Wales in 2020/21 to provide independent, specialist support to female and male victims of sexual violence. This represents a total investment of £32m over the last three years.

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