‘Don’t brush rapes aside’
Nearly quarter of Coast sex cases unsolved
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“It’s at that time when you’re having complaints being withdrawn. For example, if you haven’t kept the clothing of the victim, your forensic case goes out the door.”
A Bulletin report this week revealed police are being urged to revisit cases after an Auditor General’s report found victims of crime being encouraged not to take action.
Women reporting to a Coast support service say they “felt 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES HOST CITY pressured to withdraw their SA (sexual assault) complaint” and that police “unfounding” of cases had increased.
The police source said sexual offences and property crime were the two major areas where cases could easily be logged as “unfounded”.
“You are talking about an entertainment precinct and a party suburb. In that party precinct is the strong influence of substance abuse, and we’re prone to crimes like date rape linked to drugs.”
Police data for 2015-16 for the Coast district shows that of the 435 reported sexual crimes, 335 had been cleared.
In 2014-15 on the Coast, police received 503 sex crime reports, of which 405 were solved achieving a clear-up rate of 81 per cent. Despite much fewer crimes of rape and attempted rape being reported in 2015-16, the number of solved cases dropped by four per cent.
The Opposition is furious with Police Minister Mark Ryan after his response to the Bulletin was a call for victims unhappy with their police treatment to contact Policelink.
“Behind every number is an alleged victim of rape or sexual violence and we can’t brush this under the carpet,” Opposition MP Ros Bates said.
“We should be encouraging victims to report sexual violence, not getting them to withdraw complaints just to clear the books.”