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Number of rape offences in England and Wales 2002-2020

Rape offences have increased dramatically in England and Wales since 2012/13 when there were around 16.3 thousand incidents. After this year, rape offences increased to 20.75 thousand, then 29.3 thousand in 2014/15, before increasing to over 36 thousand in 2015/16, and over 42 thousand in 2016/17. In 2017/18 there were over 54 thousand rape offences recorded by the Police in England and Wales, an increase of over ten thousand when compared with the previous year, the largest year-on-year increase in this period.

Similar patterns in Scotland & Ireland
While there has also been an increase in the number of rape and attempted rape offences in Scotland the increase has not been quite as steep, with offences increasing by just over 370 between 2017/16 and 2017/18. In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland there has been a surge in sexual offences comparable to rise in rape crime in England and Wales.

Under reported in the past?
Although overall crime has shown a noticeable uptick in recent years, the rise in sexual offences has been much more pronounced. Rather than falling and then rising again, sexual offences also remained at a relatively stable figure, up until 2013/13. This is likely due to better reporting practices by the police as well as an increasing willingness of victims to come forward.

Number of rape offences recorded in England and Wales from 2002/03 to 2019/20

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Release date

July 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2020

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Statistics on "Crime in the UK"

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