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Rape allegations rose last year

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:40 01 August 2010

RAPE allegations in Suffolk rose by 21pc last year, according to police figures.

There were 258 alleged attacks in the county during the year, compared to 213 in 2008.

RAPE allegations in Suffolk rose by 21pc last year, according to police figures.

There were 258 alleged attacks in the county during the year, compared to 213 in 2008.

However, senior officers believe increased victim confidence is one main reason for the rise, and they also point out that 83pc of the crimes detected ended in a conviction.

Police say rape all allegations are thoroughly investigated with great sensitivity being shown to the victim. However, on occasions officers do have to deal with vulnerable people who make multiple allegations. Over the past two years the constabulary said 17 individuals have made two rape complaints, four have made three, one has made four, while another has made five.

Ch Insp Neil Luckett, lead officer for rape complaints in Suffolk, said: “Where we have somebody, perhaps making repeated allegations which are proved not to have happened, we ask why they reported it. If someone makes an allegation there is going to be a reason. On occasions, probably around 15pc of allegations, we have additional evidence to say the crime has not happened. That doesn't mean to say the victim doesn't get the same level of investigation and same level of support.”

Officers believe rape victims, in general, feel increasingly reassured about how they will be treated and that this has led to more coming forward reporting allegations.

Ch Insp Luckett added: “We think people have more confidence around reporting and that's come with better understanding and better reporting by us of what's actually happened. We now have dedicated teams that investigate rape and specially-trained officers to deal with the victims.”

Police are stressing that the vast majority of rapes occur between people known to each other. Drink often plays a part in certain types of cases, but stranger rape remains very rare.

The figures also show a 27pc rise in alleged rapes of women aged over 16 with 167 people contacting police last year. Reports of child rape also went up 15pc year-on-year from 74 in 2008 to 85 in 2009.

Later this year Suffolk is to get a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to provide more support for victims.

To report a rape call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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