Reported rapes in Croydon have risen by a staggering 33 per cent despite the overall crime rate falling by nearly ten per cent.
The increase in rape reports has emerged as the highest within the ELL boroughs: Lewisham has increased by 26 per cent, Hackney by 22 per cent and Tower Hamlets by 21 per cent.
Croydon has also seen an increase in the number of domestic violence cases, which has risen at a rate of 15 per cent, from last year’s 2,452 cases.
However, gun crime and robbery cases are down by 30 per cent and 26 per cent respectively in Croydon. Chief Superintendent Musker was pleased with the general reduction in crime and said: “The fact that overall crime has come down is clearly good news for everyone in Croydon.”
He added: “I’m particularly pleased with the reductions that we’ve seen in burglary and robbery and the challenge now will be to maintain and build upon this success.”
Musker went on to say that the Croydon division is “still have a way to go” regarding the rise in rape and domestic violence.
He admitted the specific reason for the increase was unknown: “Whilst domestic crime is up, we know that traditionally, it is under-reported to police. It is difficult to know the exact reasons for the increase, but I do believe that victims of domestic abuse have more confidence about reporting it to police.”
The new classification for domestic violence could be partly responsible for the increase in the number of cases. The category now includes abuse which comprises victims over 16 years old, coercive control which is a pattern of acts of assaults, threats, humiliation, intimidation or any other types of abuse which is used to harm or punish a victim.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently reported that within England and Wales, 30 per cent of women had experienced domestic abuse at a stage since the age of 16. 16.3 per cent of men had also experienced domestic abuse.
Earlier this year, a report published by Croydon’s Health and Wellbeing board highlighted that over 22,000 male and female individuals had experienced domestic violence in a single year.
In addition to the police, there are a number of community leaders and organisations working to tackle the rise in rape in Croydon including the Family Justice Centre (FJC), Croydon’s Women Aid, Refuge and Croydon Domestic Violence Advocacy Service.
By Blondelle Baima