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27 Jan, 2022 17:10

Sexual offenses spike to record high in England & Wales

Newly-released Office for National Statistics data shows England and Wales reported nearly 171,000 sexual offenses in the past 12 months
Sexual offenses spike to record high in England & Wales

Police across England and Wales reported a record high number of rapes and sexual offenses in the year to September, according to official data released on Thursday. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) saw a total of 170,973 sexual offenses reported, an increase of 12% from the last 12 month period, with officials seeing “noticeable increases [in crimes] since April 2021.”

Among the sexual offenses reported, 37%, or 63,136, were rapes, a spike of 13%, with the ONS warning the “overall trend” is “difficult to disentangle from the impact of lockdowns.”

“The winter 2020 to 2021 lockdowns saw a smaller reduction in the number of sexual offences recorded by the police but a greater level of increase in these offences in the subsequent quarters,” the ONS stated.

The figures released by the UK data agency reflect a “number of factors,” including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns on people’s willingness to report incidents,” the ONS said, as it urged people to cautiously interpret the data.

The ONS data was released on the same day it was reported that British police have released as many as 12,000 suspected sex offenders into the community without imposing bail conditions to protect their victims or the public.

The Home Office data to March 2021 shows an additional 55,207 people arrested for violent offenses in England and Wales were released under investigation.