Sexual Assault Reports Rise from 765 to 2,385 Annually Over 10 Years In West Yorkshire

The county has seen a 212% rise in sexual assault reports in a decade.

By Mahee and Blerton, Leeds · June 3, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Sexual assault crime figures in Leeds have risen drastically over the last 10 years.

Data from West Yorkshire Police reveals that the total recorded sexual assaults occurring in the county stood at 764 in 2010, rising to 2,385 in 2019.

The data was sourced by the media literacy charity The Student View.

The figures rose year-on-year; 735 in 2011, 758 in 2012 and 889 in 2013. At this point there was a significant jump, to 1,241 in 2014. 2015 saw 1,679, 2016 saw 1,941 and in 2017, recorded assaults passed the 2,000 per year mark to stand at 2,438. In 2018, the figure rose yet again, to 2,697. 

West Yorkshire Police note that these figures only include those that “were not subsequently cancelled”. They include sexual assault of a male or female child under 13, and males and females 13 and over.

Bob Balfour, CEO of Survivors West Yorkshire, said “West Yorkshire has some of the most complex sexual violence issues in the UK.

“We look forward to the soon to be published West Yorkshire sexual violence services strategic review, commissioned by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. We hope this will drive a collaboratively creative statutory, 3rd sector and community response to working better for survivors.”

A spokesperson for the police stated “there has been an increase in sexual offences recorded, some of which will be as a result of improved crime recording but also due to well publicised national cases which have given victims the confidence to report crimes knowing that their reports will be taken seriously. These offences may have taken place many years before the survivor of abuse feels able to report the matter to the police.

“Any historical reports receive the same level of investigation and response from specialist officers in West Yorkshire Police as recent reports do. Crimes are recorded within the yearly data of the time they get reported however the offence reflects the age of the victim at the time of the offence.”

The spokesperson continued “all investigations involving victims of sexual abuse, regardless of the age of the person responsible, are dealt within a multi-agency setting, involving our statutory safeguarding partners. This approach allows not only for an effective investigation but ensures appropriate safeguarding measures are considered for any person deemed to be at risk.

“West Yorkshire Police strives to treat all victims equally, ensuring that they receive the best possible care from all officers and staff. All victims are offered appropriate specialist after care support services to ensure they receive support throughout the criminal justice process.”

West Yorkshire Police declined to comment any further on these findings.