The number of sex crimes in Kingston has increased by nearly 80 per cent since 2013, official figures have shown.
According to the statistics, there have been 23 reported sex crimes, including rape, in the past year in Kingston, which shows a 76.9 per cent increase on the 13 reported cases in 2013.
Officials claim the increase in reported sex crimes is an effect of Operation Yewtree, which was launched after it was revealed that Jimmy Savile had sexually abused hundreds of children throughout his career.
Operation Yewtree is an enquiry into alleged child sexual exploitation and has led to 17 arrests to date and identified over 200 potential victims.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report stated: “The increase in people coming forward to report sexual offences is likely to be due to a wider ‘Operation Yewtree’ effect.
“There are likely to be two main factors in the rise in police-recorded rape and sexual offences; an increase in the willingness of victims to come forward and report these crimes to the police, and an improvement in crime recording by the police for these offences.”
London has seen an increase of 27 per cent in reported sexual offences, and a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “During the last year we have seen a 27 per cent increase in the number of rapes reported to police.
“It is our hope that we can build on this increased confidence into the future and that more victims of this abhorrent crime will have the confidence to talk to police.”
The spokesperson stated the police had charged 744 people with offences of rape in 2013/14 compared to 629 charged in 2012/13, and they would increase their effort in the coming year.
“We are acutely aware that this crime is significantly underreported which means we have much to do to ensure that victims have a greater opportunity to access justice.
“In London we are fortunate to be supported by partners within the statutory and voluntary sectors who are tackling this issue and we will continue to work with them in supporting victims in the future.”
Kingston Police have introduced measures such as strengthened night time patrols and work with Transport for London to encourage students to travel safer.
Inspector Simon Day of the Kingston Police said people should think twice before using an unbooked minicab.
He said: “We advise people to pre book a cab or use a licenced black cab.”
Figures from the ONS also show an increase in the UK of 21 per cent in sexual offences, with a 29 per cent increase in reported rapes. This figure of a total reported 22,116 attacks has been the highest for at least 10 years.
If you have experienced a sexual assault, the police strongly urge you to come forward. You can seek help in the following places:
Kingston Police Station:
5-7 High Street Main phone number: 101
South London Rape Crisis:
Confidential, safe, specialist support. Helpline: Freephone 0808 802 9999
The Haven – Camberwell:
The Havens provide treatment and counselling, and specialist and forensically trained doctors and nurses. This service guarantees anonymity.
King’s College Hospital, Telephone number – 020 3299 1599 Open from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday Or you can call 020 3299 9000 at all other times.