Police and Crime Commissioner on look-out for county-wide support provider after number of recorded rapes in Cambridgeshire rises by over 40 per cent

Jason Ablewhite

Jason Ablewhite - Credit: Archant

The number of recorded rapes in Cambridgeshire rose by over 40 per cent last year, statistics from the police inspectorate have revealed.

Rape monitoring data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularly (HMIC) revealed that there were 338 recorded adult rapes in the county in 2014/15 – a rise of 43 per cent from 236 in 2014/15.

There was also a seven per cent increase in the number of recorded child rapes, which rose from 135 to 145.

And in a bid to support victims of sexual violence, Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite is looking for a provider to delivery county-wide specialist support as part of his ‘deliver a victim first’ approach.

Cllr Ablewhite said: “With Operation Yewtree and other investigations receiving a great deal of national media attention, this increase is not unexpected. However these crimes have a devastating impact on people’s lives and we need to do all we can to support them to cope and recover.

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“The additional service is part of a range of support services for victims across Cambridgeshire. It allows us to ensure all victims of sexual violence, wherever they live, can expect the same level of support.”

In recent months, staff from the Commissioner’s team have worked with partner agencies to draw up the detail of the new service which will ensure victims of sexual violence, and their families, receive emotional and practical support.

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The offer will include staff who will provide one-to-one support for victims including through any court process, telephone-based support, and peer support through group work.

The service will be funded from the Commissioner’s Victims’ Services Grant, pooled with existing funding from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and new funding from NHS England.

The new provider will be working with the new Sexual Assault Referral Centre, constabulary teams and staff in the newly merged Victim and Witness Hub.

The Hub provides ‘end-to-end’ support for anyone affected by crime from the point of reporting and through any criminal justice process including giving evidence at court.

Cllr Ablewhite added: “The Hub is already helping to make people feel more confident about reporting crimes. We need to make sure victims are fully supported so that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.”

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