Following a recent meeting with Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Candidate Richard Bright, local MP Maggie Throup has raised concerns with the Home Secretary over the number of rapes reported to Derbyshire Police linked to nights out in either Ilkeston, Long Eaton or Derby during summer 2015.
At a session of questions in the House of Commons Maggie asked the Home Secretary, Theresa May, what was being done to ensure that victims received a good level of practical and emotional support following a sexual assault and what more was being done to help the police bring predators to justice.
Commenting on the issue Maggie said:
“I was shocked to learn that on average between July and September last year one rape per week was reported to Derbyshire Police linked to a night out in either Ilkeston, Long Eaton or Derby.
“This is a serious issue for our area, and although it is good that more people are now feeling able to come forward and report a sexual assault, both myself and Richard felt that it was important to bring the situation to the direct attention of the Home Secretary.”
Richard Bright said:
“I felt that it was important that local MPs were made aware of these figures, and I would like to thank Maggie for passing on the information to the Home Secretary.
“Over the coming months I will be working hard, together with Maggie, other local MPs and our police, to educate the public about the risks of drinking too much on a night out, and how some people use this as an opportunity to commit rape or other sexual assaults.
“As part of my plan for community policing in Derbyshire, I will also look at what more can be done to support victims of rape and ensure our police are to bring these criminals to justice.”
HANSARD MONDAY 11TH JANUARY 2016
Violence against Women and Girls
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): Tackling violence against women and girls is a key Government priority. We have introduced a new offence of domestic abuse and are consulting on new measures to protect victims of stalking. We have already committed £40 million between 2016 and 2020 to support victims of domestic abuse. We will publish shortly a refreshed violence against women and girls strategy, setting out how we will do more still to support all victims.
Maggie Throup: Following the meeting with the Derbyshire police and crime commissioner candidate, Richard Bright, I was shocked to learn that on average between July and September last year one rape a week was reported to Derbyshire police, linked to nights out in Long Eaton, Ilkeston and Derby. Will my right hon. Friend outline what is being done to ensure that victims receive a good level of practical and emotional support following a sexual assault? What can be done to help the police bring predators to justice?
Mrs May: My hon. Friend raises a very important point. First, we have generally seen an increase in the number of reports of rape and other sexual violence. It is good that people have more confidence to come forward, precisely because of the support they now feel they will get from the police and other services. It is, of course, important to ensure that support is available to individuals, for example at Rape Crisis centres. I am pleased to say that over the past five years the Government have made money available to ensure that new Rape Crisis centres have opened, unlike under the previous Labour Government when they were closing.