Reported Crawley sex assault numbers revealed

A teen was attacked during a robbery
A teen was attacked during a robbery

The number of reported sexual assaults over the past five years has been revealed by Sussex Police.

The figures, attained through an FOI (Freedom of Information) request, show that the annual number of reported sexual assaults in Crawley has decreased, apart from a spike in 2011/12.

The annual figures for Crawley and Gatwick were: 2009/10, 67; 10/11, 64; 11/12, 75; 12/13, 44; and 13/14, 41.

The figures include any report of historic incidents.

The total number of reports in Crawley over the five years - 291 - was nearly triple the amount in Horsham, which had 117 reports.

However, Chief Inspector Justina Beeken said Crawley was not considered an area of notably high assaults.

She said: “The number of sexual crimes in Crawley is broadly similar to most other districts across Sussex, particularly those with larger towns and cities, and with the exception of 2011/12 they have fallen over the last five years.

“There is no clear reason for the spike in 2011/12, although over the past few years, Sussex Police has been very active in encouraging reporting of sexual crimes.”

This information was sought by the Crawley Observer after Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne made the decision to increase the policing part of the council tax for 2014-15 by 1.95 per cent to put towards aims including reducing serious sexual offending.

This will add £2.70 per year per household for a Band D property in Sussex.

A consultation survey, set by the Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner from October 2013 to January 2014 resulted in 67 per cent of respondents supporting an increase in tax for the policing precept.

Katy Bourne said: “I am pleased with the results of the public consultation. I have a statutory obligation to set the police budget and that is why I sought the views of Sussex taxpayers regarding a potential increase of £4.95 per year per band D household.

“The increase would go towards reducing serious sexual offending and tackling child exploitation, strengthening the fight against cyber crime and increasing the visibility of frontline policing.”

Chief Inspector Beeken added: “We continue to encourage reporting, no matter how long ago the offence may have occurred.

“Anyone who has been or continues to be a victim can be assured that their report will treated sensitively, compassionately and completely confidentially.”