11/10/2018

NI Sexual Offence Conviction Rates Drop

The latest statistics from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) have revealed a drop in conviction rates for sexual offences, including rape, despite an increase in reports of crimes of this nature.

The figures revealed that 224 defendants were dealt with at the Crown Court in the 2017/18 period in cases involving sexual offences, with 60 defendants accused of rape.

The overall conviction rate dropped 10% compared to the previous year.

Of those being dealt with for rape allegations, 45% were convicted of at least one offence, while 15% were convicted of rape.

Despite the drop in convictions, the PPS saw an increase of 21% in the number of reports of allegations of sexual offences.
News Image
There was also a rise in the number of reports involving rape allegations, from 395 the previous year to 530.

PPS assistant director Marianne O'Kane said there were "significant challenges" in prosecuting these types of cases, but did caution that two years of data is not a long enough period to suggest a trend in figures.

"It is universally recognised there are significant challenges in prosecuting these types of cases," Mrs O'Kane said.

"Over the last three years the PPS has established a dedicated team of senior public prosecutors who have worked closely with our partners to ensure consistency in best practice procedures to build cases, support victims and ensure that prosecutions are brought robustly, but fairly.

"Against this backdrop we are seeing a significant increase in both the complexity and the volume of cases."

(JG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 October 2017
Drop In Number Of People Claiming Unemployment Benefits
There has been a drop in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland. According to figures from the Department for the Economy, there are currently 29,300 claimants, a drop of around 500 over the past month.
01 October 2002
Health Minister accused of 'twisting truth' over rape centre
A dispute over the funding of the Belfast Rape Crisis Centre (BRCC) deepened further today after the head of the centre accused Health Minister Bairbre de Brun of "twisting the truth and hiding behind civil servants".
06 June 2019
Arrests Over £300k Drugs Seized Last Year
Two men have been arrested in County Tyrone following the seizure of suspected cocaine worth around £300,000 last year. The drugs were originally discovered in the Lisaclare Road area of Stewartstown in October 2018. Two men, aged 26 and 24 were arrested in the Omagh and Cookstown areas today, Thursday 06 June. Both remain in custody.
29 April 2019
21-Year-Old Dies After Crumlin Stabbing
Police have launched a murder inquiry after the death of a 21-year-old man following a stabbing in Crumlin, County Antrim. The incident happened at a house in the Cairn Walk area in the early hours of Saturday morning, 27 April. Four men have been arrested in connection with the death.
06 December 2017
Jordi Murphy Agrees Two-Year Deal With Ulster Rugby
Jordi Murphy is to join Ireland's back row on a two-year deal at the end of this season. Murphy made his debut for Leinster against Glasgow in September 2011 and has accumulated 95 appearances. He earned his first senior cap for Ireland as a second half replacement against England in the 2014 Six Nations Championship.