Fiddling with the rape statistics again

This is the number that will be bandied about:

The study released on Wednesday by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reveals that during the 17-month test period – when all false allegation cases were referred to the DPP – there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape and 111,891 for domestic violence in England and Wales.

By comparison, over the same timespan, there were only 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape, six for false allegations of domestic violence and three that involved false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.

35 as opposed to 5,651.


But that isn\’t at all the ratio of false allegations to reports of rapes. That\’s the number that are prosecuted for either, a very different matter. What if, just for example, we had a difference in the willingness to prosecute for each crime? And I don\’t think we\’d have to think too hard to come up with reasons why there might be such a difference.

Of 159 suspects linked to allegedly false claims referred to the CPS

Just by changing the definition a little bit we do start to see very different numbers, don\’t we?

And what we really want to know, if what we\’re interested in is the number of false allegations is, well, the number of false allegations. Which isn\’t something that\’s on offer here at all.

All of which means that we probably do have to fall back on the previous set of numbers that we have. That false allegations make up some 4-6% (I think I\’m recalling that number correctly) of all reports of rape.

8 thoughts on “Fiddling with the rape statistics again”

  1. “But that isnt at all the ratio of false allegations to reports of rapes. Thats the number that are prosecuted for either, a very different matter. “

    The lie has made its way around the world – twice! – before this truth has its boots on.

  2. The number of false allegations of rape and DV should be easy to establish: all the CPS need do is tell us, out of the total number of prosecutions for these offences, how many resulted in acquittals?

  3. Edward,

    I disagree. Just because there was insufficient evidence to convict on the criminal court standard of proof doesn’t mean that either it didn’t happen or, if it did, it wasn’t rape.

    Legally, of course, innocent. But that’s not the same thing.

  4. JuliaM, I could have sworn that just two or three days ago you were on here writing, “FFS! I just remembered why I dont comment here any more

  5. Edward, unless I’m missing something, there are also false allegations of rape (and everything else) which never get to court because the CPS won’t run with them.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    35 as opposed to 5,651.

    There is another problem here as well – the CPS does not prosecute false allegations. They prosecute fraudulent allegations. Someone who accuses another person in good faith is not committing a crime. A policeman who charges a man who turns out to be innocent is not committing a crime. But someone who knowingly claims someone else committed rape falsely *is* committing a crime.

    I assume most false allegations are innocent allegations. The person at the time genuinely thought that the accused did it.

    I also think that for most of us, we have no real fear of being maliciously accused because the numbers of such nutters is so low. But we may have a reasonable chance of being roped in, so to speak, by someone who means well.

    As for the figures, the nice people who used DNA to prove so many people on death row were innocent have been using it to look at rapists in prison as well. Their figures are high. Really high. That is not a percentage of people accused, but a percentage of people actually convicted. You would think that the number wrongly convicted would be lower than the percentage of people falsely accused.

    In fact the majority of people proven innocent by the Innocence Project were convicted of rape. I don-t think most accused are innocent, but a hell of a lot of them clearly are.

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