Statistics reveal sex offenses have reached a new all-time high in Powys

Police-recorded sex offenses have hit an all-time high in Powys, according to new figures.

As the total number of reported sex offenses peaked in England and Wales, charities urged the government to do more to protect victims who feel unsupported by the criminal justice system.

Office for National Statistics figures show Dyfed-Powys Police recorded 449 sex offenses in Powys in the year to March, up from 293 last year and the highest number since the start recordings in 2003.

The number of sex offenses reported to the force has more than sixfold since that year, when 70 crimes were recorded.

In England and Wales, 194,683 sexual offenses were reported in 2021-22, a 32% increase on the previous year and also a record high.

Reported sexual offenses have more than tripled over the past decade, although the impact of high-profile cases and campaigns on victims’ willingness to report incidents is a factor, the ONS said.

Ruth Davison, CEO of Refuge, a domestic violence charity, said: “We need system-wide reform to ensure survivors are supported and believed when they make the courageous choice to report. the abuses they have suffered and the crimes committed against them.

“Without this, women will continue to lack faith in the system and be less likely to seek the justice they deserve.”

The Home Office said more victims coming forward was “encouraging”, but admitted more needed to be done.

A spokesperson added: “Police and the Crown Prosecution Service must continue to raise the bar in dealing with these cases, so victims know they will be taken seriously and the criminals responsible will be put behind bars. .

“Through our rape review action plan, we are working to make the system work better.”

The number of reported rape offenses in England and Wales also hit a record high, topping 70,000 for the first time in 2021-22, a 26% increase on the previous year.

Rape Crisis warned that the number of recorded rape offenses does not tell the whole story, as victims and survivors fear they will not be believed or taken seriously, and know it is “highly unlikely” that they see someone charged.

Chief Executive Jayne Butler said: “Victims and survivors are coming forward in increasing numbers to report the sexual offenses they experience – and the government has promised to act on it.

“This bravery deserves real and meaningful action in response.

“We need swift, sustained and ambitious action from government and judicial agencies in response to these increased numbers.”

The National Police Chiefs Council said: “Rape is a devastating offence, and we are committed to improving all aspects of how these life-altering crimes are handled.

“We remain positive about the progress being made, but recognize that there is still a long way to go for more victims to come forward and report with confidence.”

Recorded harassment and harassment offenses also increased by 15% last year, from 630,000 to 720,000.

Of these, 2,253 were reported in Powys, up from 1,431 in 2020-21.