Exposure and voyeurism cases have risen by 59% but police prosecutions have almost halved in six years
- Figures reveal the scale of the crime plaguing women and girls across Britain
- But despite rise in cases, forces have prosecuted far fewer suspects since 2014
- Officers have recently been criticised for treating the crime less seriously
Police prosecutions of exposure and voyeurism cases have almost halved in six years while cases have risen by a staggering 59 per cent, The Mail on Sunday can reveal,
The shocking figures reveal the scale of the crime plaguing women and girls across the country.
Yet despite the huge rise in cases forces have prosecuted far fewer suspects since 2014.
Officers have been criticised for treating the crime less seriously in the wake of the conviction of policeman Wayne Couzens after it was found he publicly exposed himself on a number of occasions previously.
Officers have been criticised for treating the crime less seriously in the wake of the conviction of policeman Wayne Couzens after it was found he publicly exposed himself on a number of occasions previously
The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating the police’s failure to properly record allegations of flashing against Couzens while he was serving with Kent Police in 2015 and also three days before he raped and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
Campaigners have blasted forces’ attitude to the offences with radio presenter Emma Ball saying she was ‘laughed’ at by officers after informing them a man she now believed to be Couzens had flashed her in 2008.
The Home Office data, analysed by the Mail on Sunday, reveals that since 2014 prosecutions for exposure and voyeurism have dropped from 1,047 nationally to 594.
By 2016 prosecutions were still maintained at 1,023 but by 2018 they had dropped to 721 and continued to tail off to last year.
At the same time reported offences have sharply risen from 6,420 in 2013-14 to 10,203 in March to this year.
Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner, blasted the police over the lack of prosecutions and called on exposure and voyeurism cases to be treated ‘seriously’.
She said: ”Indecent exposure and voyeurism are serious crimes that should be recognised as a red flag about a man’s approach to women.
‘Victims must be treated seriously and police must investigate and make arrests.
‘It is inexcusable that the Mail on Sunday’s figures show that complaints have almost doubled but prosecutions almost halved.
‘Victims are reporting crimes which can lead, as we have recently seen, to rape and worse but are hitting a blank wall.’
Home Office findings have previously revealed that cuts in officer numbers from 2010, with more than 20,000 lost nationally, contributed to sharp rises in crime from 2014.
Police pointed to the fact charging rates for offences linked to exposure and voyeurism are above the national average.
Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for violence against women and girls, said: ‘Police take these reports very seriously, investigate, and work with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to make a joint decision on charging and prosecute where there is evidence to do so.
‘One of my top priorities in combatting violence against women and girls is significantly improving the quality of investigations and their outcomes across policing.
‘We know these types of offences can be a precursor to other sexual offences and so police will use risk assessments to help measure the risk levels of offenders and help determine what early action can be taken to stop them.’
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