More than 250 rape attacks in past five years carried out by offenders freed from prison | UK | News


Figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show that in the five years from 2015, a total of 263 people found guilty in the courts of rape or attempted rape already had a similar rape conviction on their criminal records. This means attacks by serious repeat rapists are running at an average of around one a week. In 2019, the most recent year for which the MoJ holds data, 39 rapes or attempted rapes were ­carried out by men who already had a similar conviction. Three of these men already had two rape attack convictions to their name when they struck again, while another had three previous offences. 

Another 59 men who were convicted of a rape assault in the year already had a different sex offence on their records, while 47 other men convicted of rape or attempted rape in 2019 already had an offence of violence on their criminal records.

Last year, police in England and Wales logged 58,856 rape attacks, more than double the 29,420 recorded five years ago.

Despite this, it is not uncommon for many convicted rapists to be released from prison after serving just half of their sentence.

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women co­alition, said: “This data is shocking but shows what is well known – men who commit violence against women and girls are known to do so again and often against a series of women.

“There is a real issue with confidence in the criminal justice system, and it being a credible form of deterrent for these crimes.

“The appalling low prosecution rates for rape indicate a broken system, one where offenders can get away with assaulting women and are free to target others.

“We know that women from black or minority ethnic, disabled or poorer backgrounds are particularly badly served by a system of law and order that is supposed to protect us all.

“We need root and branch reform of the treatment of rape in the justice system if we are to get anywhere near ­justice for crimes of violence against women and girls.”

David Spencer, research director at the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “Crimes like these scar innocent victims and their families for life and leave entire communities fearing for their safety.

“Perpetrators should not be allowed back into society unless it can be guaranteed they will not commit these atrocious crimes again. For many, this will rightly mean whole life sentences.”

An MoJ spokesman said: “Rapists are already spending far longer in prison than they were 10 years ago, and we are still toughening up sentences so they serve even more time behind bars.”

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