North Wales Police Amethyst Team (dedicated Rape Team) has been operational for 12 months this week.
Since its inception the team who deal with serious sexual offences have seen an increase in reporting rates, detection rates and a continued focus on standards of investigation ensuring North Wales continue to have the highest conviction rate for Rape in Wales.
Rape reporting has increased by 16.9% since last year – approximately 40% of reported cases are historic cases indicating that victims are now finding the confidence to seek support for the crimes they have suffered.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick said: “I am delighted at the success of the Amethyst Team in targeting rape crimes as this was something I have been very keen to see implemented.
“I congratulate the team for their excellent work over the past 12 months, not just in dealing with cases of this heinous and obnoxious crime as they occur but also in instilling the confidence in victims of historic rapes to come forward and report them.
“This can only be done if you show that you provide an effective and sympathetic service and it is clear from the rising reporting and conviction figures that this is what the Amethyst Team do.
“It is unusual for an increase in the reporting of a crime to be held up as a success but in the case of rape that is what it is as it’s clear that victims now feel that their cases will be dealt with sensitively and effectively and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.”
In 2013/14 90 cases of Rape were detected by North Wales Police compared to 69 in the previous year; this equates to a 30.4% increase.
North Wales Crown Courts have the lowest attrition rate for rape in Wales (amount of cases lost at court).
The working practise of Amethyst Team has been held up as an example of ‘excellence’ on a National level – managers of the Team have spoken to National conferences and have been featured in Police practice magazines to share the teams model with other Police areas.
Iwan Jenkins, Head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Wales Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service is working hard, alongside our partners in the police and other agencies, to ensure we deliver the best possible service in support of victims of rape and other sexual offences.
“Over the last year, we have seen significant improvements in both the quality and quantity of cases brought before the courts in North Wales. The efforts of North Wales Police’s Amethyst Team, working alongside our own team of specialist prosecutors, have been instrumental in delivering justice for more victims of serious sexual offences.
“We want victims to have the confidence to come forward and report offences to the police, in the knowledge that they will be dealt with in a professional and compassionate manner by all of us involved in the criminal justice system. “
North Wales Police went on to say “Amethyst Team provide specialist services to support victims and encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to come forward.
“Reporting a sexual offence is about empowering victims and ensuring they have access to specialist support they may require.
“If a victim does not feel ready to report to the Police then services can be accessed through the confidential Amethyst SARC Helpline on 0808 156 3658.”