Wiltshire Police has been found to be the worst police force in the country when it comes to rape convictions.

Data from the Home Office, analysed by Gavin Hales, Senior Associate Fellow at The Police Foundation, found that Wiltshire was the force with the lowest rape conviction rates in England and Wales.

Only 0.7 per cent of rape cases ended in a charge or summons during the three years from 2018-19 to 2020-21.

This data led the Telegraph to report that Wiltshire was the "worst performing police force" for rape cases.

Durham was the most successful force, according to the Home Office, with 7.1 per cent of rapes resulting in a charge in the same period.



The data comes amid growing national concern for women's safety following the murder, rape and kidnap of Sarah Everard by police officer Wayne Couzens.

Data has been underreported, says Wiltshire Police

However, Wiltshire Police says rape prosecution figures from the Home Office have been underreported.

The force says that the method it uses to submit data has contributed to its low figures.

Wiltshire is one of three forces in the country to report crime outcomes manually.

The police says this means outcomes lag behind reported crimes, especially with rape and serious sexual assault, due to the complexity of investigations and time taken.

Wiltshire Police says that its non-public data shows the proportion of cases resulting in rape detections actually rose from 3.8 per cent in October 2020 to 4.1 per cent in October 2021.

'Not good enough'

Philip Wilkinson, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said the figures are "seriously damaging" to the "credibility" of Wiltshire Police, and "not a fair reflection of the work that has been ongoing".

He said: "While Wiltshire’s figure has improved over 12 months, I accept it isn’t good enough, and I will ensure enough resources and capability is available to the force to continue to improve these outcomes. As far as I am concerned, one crime is too many, one victim is too many.

"Nationally, those same figures aren’t improving and are appallingly low. This paints a rather dim picture. Victims deserve better from police forces and from the wider criminal justice system."

External review to take place

He added that he has commissioned an external review to drive change.

“I am determined this will change," he said.

"I, alongside my fellow PCCs in Dorset and Hampshire, have commissioned an external, independent review to drive improvements where they are needed in the criminal justice system, and beyond: looking at better services for victims, better training for professionals and better outcomes for victims too.

"Work to address the public’s concerns around violence against women and girls, alongside rape and serious sexual assault, will be a key feature of my new Police and Crime Plan: providing that joined-up approach, leadership and policing direction for the force over the next four years.

"Myself and the Chief Constable are determined that we will robustly affect culture change, where necessary, and I plan to work with the force to track every single rape case reported to them to provide that oversight.

"Together we will work to make Wiltshire safer and rebuild the public’s trust in policing."

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