Today, the HMIC has released a report by the Rape Monitoring Group containing local area data for 2015/16.
Chief Superintendent Serena Kennedy said: “The report reflects an improving position for Cheshire and showcases the Constabulary’s commitment to this serious crime. It also demonstrates the excellent working relationship that exists between the force and its partners to support victims who report rape and sexual assaults.
“In Cheshire we are following the national trend that has seen the rate of rapes reported to us rise by 50% since 2011-12. We have responded by placing even greater resources into our Dedicated Rape Unit, which allows our specialist officers to tackle rape and sexual offences even more effectively while providing support for victims.
“The DRU has been highlighted nationally as excellent practice and works closely with co-located Crown Prosecution Service lawyers to ensure that every possible line of enquiry is fully explored to bring offenders to justice.
“In Cheshire we have a 22% charge rate, which is the best in the country and something we are rightly proud of. This in an improvement of 12% since last year’s report was published. Our officers work extremely hard and are continually seeking to achieve the best outcomes for victims. This is a very complex area of business and there are many factors that we have to take into consideration when submitting a case to the Crown Prosecution Service, including the needs and wishes of the victim.
"Rape is a devastating crime and has a major and long-lasting impact. Victims are at the heart of everything we do here in Cheshire and we work tirelessly alongside our partners to ensure that anyone who has been subjected to a sexual offence receives all the help and support they need. I hope that today’s news gives victims the confidence to speak to us.”