Still problems with rape statistics

The Guardian corrections column attempts to get to grips with the slippery numbers. Yes, the 6.5% number shouldn\’t be used. But there\’s another for people to complain over:

The 2010/2011 Home Office statistics show that the sanction detection rate for violence against the person was 44.5%, and for rape 29.9%.

The most obvious point here is that violence against the person is a fairly easy crime to prove the existence of.

\”He hit me\”.

Rape faces a different problem.

\”He had sex with me\” isn\’t a crime.

So it\’s necessary to prove both the sex and the denial of consent before we can even conclude that a crime has been committed: only then is it possible to go on to find out who did it.

Which is why the rape numbers are always going to be different from those for many other crimes.

3 thoughts on “Still problems with rape statistics”

  1. Elementary, my dear Worstall. How can so many be so dim as not to understand? Perhaps they sincerely want to be dim?

  2. I’ve yet to hear a single solution to the rape conviction rate problem that doesn’t basically amount to rigging the trial against the defendant – something about which the Graun would rightly go mental in any other circumstances.

  3. Perhaps fraud would be a better comparison (in terms of the legal complexity; I’m not suggesting an equivalence for the victim).

    I can’t find any figures, but suspect fraud conviction rates are far lower even than 6.5%.

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