Violence against women on City Hall’s agenda after rise in recorded rapes

City Hall. Photo credit: Martin Pettitt (Creative Commons), cropped
City Hall. Photograph: Martin Pettitt (Creative Commons)

Strategies for tackling violence against women and girls have been explored at the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee today after City Hall released figures showing an 11 per cent increase in recorded incidents of rape in the capital.

There were 587 more reports of rape made to the Metropolitan Police from July 2015-June 2016 than in the previous year, the London Assembly announced.

This is in line with nationwide increases in reports of sexual offences – a trend that has been attributed to an increased willingness of victims to come forward to police.

In addition, in the year to June 2016, there were over 150,000 domestic abuse incidents, with over 5,800 more notifiable offences compared with June 2015, over 16,000 sexual offences and more than 5,000 rapes.

But City Hall says that despite increasing reports of domestic abuse, the number of individuals being charged or receiving another sanction has fallen in London.

In his manifesto, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan committed to tackling violence against women and girls, and the Crown Prosecution Service has recently published its annual report on crimes including stalking, human trafficking, domestic violence and prostitution.

In a report on the Met’s rape investigation teams last year, QC Dame Elish Angiolini catalogued chronic under resourcing and called for more detectives to be moved into the teams, called Sapphire units.

Guests invited by the Police and Crime Committee to discuss these issues today include Sarah Green, from the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Marai Larasi from black feminist organisation Imkaan, Yvonne Traynor from Rape Crisis South London andRuth Aitken from domestic abuse charity Refuge.

A webcast of the meeting is available to watch on the London Assembly’s website.

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