Number of reported rapes at its highest ever in UK

LONDON (TIP): Britain which has called the recent rapes in India an outrage, has now recorded the highest number of sexual crimes in the past decade, with incidents of rape soaring.

India’s Daughter – a BBC aired documentary on the 2012 Delhi bus rape caused a global outcry recently and made several countries including Britain call on India to protect its women.

But the latest figures released by Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK itself saw a 32%rise in sexual offences last year to reach its highest level since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002/03.

In 2003, the police forces in England and Wales recorded 56,652 cases of sexual offences which rose to 80,262 in 2014. When it comes to rape specifically, the number of recorded cases rose from 12,295 to 26,703 during the same period.

The number of rapes involving knives increased by 40% last year.¬†Britain’s Human Rights and Democracy Report released by former British foreign secretary William Hague used the 2012 rape in Delhi as a case study to access the state of women in India.

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UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth office had said “the rape brought women’s rights sharply into focus”.

UK said that “inequality, discrimination and domestic violence are still pervasive, particularly in India’s poorest states”.

Hague had said “India is one of the world’s vibrant democracies with strong belief in human rights. The case study has been used to draw attention to the larger issue of women’s safety.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office had told TOI “India isn’t a country of concern as regards to human rights violation. But the rape of the female student had a global resonance and hence we decided to flag it in the report”.

The BBC too openly confronted the Indian government over the recent spate of rapes in India.

Danny Cohen who is the director of BBC Television had said “We do not feel the film as currently edited could ever be construed as derogatory to women or an affront to their dignity. Indeed, it highlights the challenges women in India face today”.

According to Cohen, the purpose of including the interview with the perpetrator was to gain an “insight into the mind-set of a rapist with a view to understanding the wider problem of rape and not just in India”.

ONS says there are likely to be two main factors in the rise in police recorded rape and other sexual offences; an improvement in crime recording by the police for these offences and an increase in the willingness of victims to come forward and report these crimes to the police.

Overall crime recorded by police in England and Wales increased by 2% to 3.8 million offences – the first time it has risen since 2003/04.

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