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Letting the cameras in: Staffordshire Police gives insight into rape and serious sexual assault offences for 'Policing under Pressure' documentary

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Filmed within the national policing context of reduced resources against increasing crime, Staffordshire Police were alongside a number of forces allowing exclusive access to Panorama to give the public insight into specific crime types in order to understand how and why policing is under pressure.

In Staffordshire, rape and sexual offences were the focus. In line with a national uplift in reports, statistics for the county show there has been a three-fold increase in the number of recorded rape and sexual offences since 2010, with the force investigating on average, three reports of rape and six reports of sexual offence every day.

Non-recent offences accounts for a third of the daily investigation, but as well as an increase in overall reports, greater complexity of investigations is adding to the time and resource needed to provide an efficient service.

Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: "Eight years ago we were dealing with around 900 reports of rape and sexual offence and today that figure has more than tripled. Numbers are increasing but I'm confident a majority of this increase is because victims are bravely coming forward and choosing to speak to the police. These figures are a testament of their courage.

"Rape and sexual offences are serious crimes that require detailed examination, specialist capability and wraparound support from multiple agencies. Investigations can take a significant amount of time to complete and will be resourced by a number of officers and staff at any given time. This increase in demand is in the context of an overall reduction in officer numbers by 27% (since 2010).

"It is a challenge, and it is part of the reason I am implementing changes to our policing model to allow for 50 extra officers to work within our criminal investigations teams, solving our most serious crimes.

"While I am making these changes to improve our capability, I want to be clear. Nationally there is an uplift in rape and sexual offences and all forces are working to do more with less. Financial pressures have not eased.

"Notwithstanding the reduction in police numbers, protecting those who are most vulnerable is our absolute priority and I do not want the public to be concerned by police resource headlines. We investigate every report of rape and sexual offence as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, with care and support for the victim throughout the entire process. We will continue to adapt ourselves to match crime demand with resource, so we can respond as the public needs us to, when the public needs us to."

16 May 2018 12:27:51 BST
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