Rape reported to police more often, number of reports left behind

The police receive more reports of rapes, but the number of reports remains behind. The number of lawsuits and convictions of offenders remains almost the same. This is shown by figures that Investico, a research platform, analysed and that Trouw and De Groene Amsterdammer write about.

“We are happy that people are finding their way to the police better,” says Lidewijde van Lier, vice advisor at the police and involved in vice cases for twenty years, in the CCeit Radio 1 Journaal. “But in some cases the police conclude that no offence has been committed or that there is too little evidence”

Burden of proof

Figures from the police show that 49 percent of reports resulted in a report in 2015. Last year the number of reports dropped to 38 percent, Trouw writes.

If someone reports rape to the police, in most cases this does not lead to a report. Unconscious discouragement can play a role in this, the Justice and Security Inspectorate recently concluded. Van Lier: “A victim can always make a report. In fact, we are obliged to always record this”

Nevertheless, victims may feel influenced after talking to the police, because implicitly or explicitly the success rate of a case is discussed. “We never say to a victim: ‘don’t report it, because it doesn’t make sense’. You don’t go to the vice squad to work against tackling this form of crime,” Van Lier says about that.

Earlier this year, the CCeit spoke to a rape victim who said that the police made her doubt about reporting it. She said that after an initial conversation with the police, she thought: is it a good idea? The woman was told that she really needed to be sure of her case before she reported it.