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(LONDON) Office for National Statistics (ONS) Report: Data shows a rise of 192 sexual offences reported to West Midlands Police between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 (an increase of 2.6% compared with the previous 12 months #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.21: Despite the increase locally, West Midlands Police welcomes all reports of sexual offences and has taken many additional measures to encourage such reports in the last 12 months despite the #pandemic

ONS figures show increase in sexual offences: ‘Reports of sexual offences has increased in the West Midlands up to the year ending March 2020 as highlighted in national statistics released today (Thursday 18 March) This is against a slight reduction in the national figures which have fallen by 0.7% (1,118 offences).

18th March 2021:

We continue to invest in key initiatives to help victims of sexual offences report crime and reduce harm: We’ve improved how we first respond to people who report sexual offences with specially trained officers supporting victims from the moment they report a crime.

ONS statistics released last month revealed a 53 per cent increase in recorded harassment and stalking offences in the West Midlands compared with an 18% increase nationally: We are working to better equip officers to deal with stalking and harassment offences. We know that these types of offences can impact on how safe people feel, and we are working to improve officers’ knowledge so they can identify early identification of wider patterns of this type of behaviour.

The national figures for the sexual offences reveal that over a third (37%) took place in the home: Protecting and supporting the people within our communities will always remain at the heart of what we do: So we remain committed to taking action to a rise in crime reports we receive; with safeguarding vulnerable people and catching perpetrators of domestic abuse a key focus for the force.

Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “We must continue to stress the importance of people reporting sexual offences to us. It is vital that we are able to bring perpetrators to justice and help those who have experienced such crimes get the support they need from us and other agencies: “ Previously sufferers have been reluctant to make contact. And while we never want to see a rise in any crime, the increase in reports can indicate people have trust in us to listen, handle the situation sensitively and be prepared to take action: “ We know lockdown has been tough on relationships and that people have been suffering domestic abuse in both physical and psychological forms:

“ But we need people to know there is no need to suffer alone and the force, along with the many charities and refuges across the West Midlands, are ready, willing and able to help.” If you do not feel comfortable contacting police there are many other agencies who can offer support and advice. Visit No Excuse for Abuse for more information here.

In recent months a new scheme has also been developed by the Home Office. “Ask for ANI” (Action Needed Immediately) enables victims of domestic abuse to access immediate help from the police or other support services, from the safety of their local pharmacy: We urge anyone who is not feeling safe in their own home to seek help:

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Mar.21: 2021:

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