Reported rape cases have risen by 40 per cent in Kingston over the last year, Metropolitan police statistics show.
There have been 76 total reported cases of rape since October last year, compared to 54 in the previous 12 months.
Of 3,096 rape cases, statistics show that there has been an increase of 40.7 per cent of cases in Kingston, buy have decreased by 9.7 per cent for the whole of London.
Kingston 8th safest borough despite increase in rape cases
Despite the increase in the number of rape victims, Kingston still ranks as the 8th safest borough for rape in the capital. Croydon was the worst borough this year, with 211 reported cases.
This October saw 12 cases of rape, while during the same month last year there were only two.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We believe this rise in recorded crimes is partly due to an increase in victims coming forward to report rape and sexual assaults, as a result of greater awareness.”
The statistics released by the Metropolitan Police for the Kingston area also show that there have been 131 more sexual assault cases reported this year compared to last year.
Sexual assault can range from touching somebody in a sexual way to penetration with a body part or an object without their consent.
More women come forward with help from support centres
The rise of women who have reported rapes is partly a result of campaigns, improved crime management and an increase in reports from the Havens.
The Havens, which runs Sexual Assault Referral Centres, is a place where victims of rape or sexual assault can come forward to get the help they need.
The Metropolitan Police’s sex crime unit, Sapphire, has come up with new strategies to fight rape and sexual assault crimes. One new strategy is to close pubs and clubs which are believed to be hotspots for sex crimes.
This is the first time licensing laws will be used against venues which do not do enough to prevent rape.
Megan Smith, head of the Kingston University Feminist Society, said that the initiative is a great idea, because Kingston is a student town.
She said: “When you see one close, there will be a domino effect of clubs becoming more stringent when addressing sexual assault and rape.”
New strategies to prevent these offences
Sapphire will take some other prevention measures such as targeting men who have not been charged or convicted of rape, but where intelligence suggests they may be perpetrators.
There will also be a division of Sapphire into five or six regional teams. And police will start speaking to women about their vulnerability.
Ms Smith stated: “We are starting an anti-rape campaign geared towards men rather than women. We are going to do a couple of posters and if they do well we will do a video campaign too.”