OVER 2,000 instances of sexual violence have been reported in the last year in the county according to police figures – an increase of over a third.

Crime in Nottinghamshire has increased six per cent in the last year and sex offences are a big part of the rise.

Police recorded 2,175 sex offences in 2015, compared with 1,634 offences in 2014, an increase of 33.1 per cent.

These numbers are the highest in the East Midlands and account for 29 per cent of all sex offences in the region.

One reason for the abnormally high increase may be due to better support systems being in place to help victims come forward with information on what happened, which can lead them to become more comfortable with testifiying.

Nottinghamshire Assistant Chief Constable Simon Torr said: “We have said previously that the increase in sexual offences reflects the fact that victims are showing a greater willingness to report crimes to us.

“We have a very robust recording practice that is also contributing to the increase, while the recent high profile of historic sexual abuse cases continues to have an impact.”

New ways or recording sexual offences may have led to an overall increase in reports
Mr Torr added that combating sexual violence and abuse is one of their core focuses.

“It remains the case though that stemming the increase in violence and sexual offences is a priority for us in Nottinghamshire.”

“Only with a clear analysis and picture of the causes can the police and our strategic partners address the underlying issues in society which lead people to commit certain types of crime.”
High profile case have helped increase public perception of sexual violence and abuse.

Domestic abuse often includes cases of sexual violence in them, but charities claim that the number increase is simply a result of women being more confident about coming forward against their abusers.

Director of domestic-abuse charity Equation, Chloe Cheeseman, said: “As an organisation we are dedicated to making sure victims of sexual abuse can feel safe and protected enough to report their abusers, whether it be a spouse, family member, or just someone they thought they knew.

“A 33 per cent increase initially seems quite drastic, but the positive side of this is that it shows that charities such as ours are having a more positive effect on victims.”

Miss Cheeseman also added that every day more and more victims have the courage to come forward, and that the statistics reflect this.

“We’ve come so far, but there is always more we can do for the people of Nottingham.

“We will continue to raise awareness on the myths of abuse and sexual violence, and attempt to encourage more victims to speak up about their abuse.”

Victims of abuse can call Equation on 0808 800 0340.