More than 38 rape incidents are going unreported every day in London¹, according to a new report.

FOI data from the Met police shows 6,976 recorded rape incidents in the last two years (2012 and 2013) – 570 victims were male while 6,406 were female¹.

However, victims did not report a further estimated 27,904 serious sex crimes (80 per cent) to police in the same two year period².

Nationally, there have been 13,874 reported rape offences in 2012 and 2013, while an estimated 55,496 went unreported3.

atm-release

Fig 1: Example of what the ATM technology could look like

‘eReport: Improving the reporting of rape using technology’ calls on the Capital’s high street banks to update their ATM technology so victims can report serious sexual offences discreetly on cash machines.

GLA Conservative Assembly member Andrew Boff said:

Andrew-opinion “Victims of rape often can’t phone or visit the police for fear of being seen or overheard. But if someone is being controlled, and has little time on their own, they could walk into a bank and send a short message on an ATM discreetly and anonymously, and make arrangements to meet police at a neutral place. With the highest number of rapes in England and Wales, London should lead the way with this cutting edge technology. I’ll be urging the Mayor to get one of the Capital’s high street banks to update their ATM technology through a programme of sponsorship.”

‘Rachel’ from South London was raped a few years ago by her local church pastor:

“He was there when I suffered domestic violence and was a victim of attempted murder as a young mum. I trusted him. The sexual abuse lasted for 8 months, and I even tried to commit suicide. I only plucked up the courage to tell police last year. I was too scared to approach them face to face, it was daunting. I feared they would not believe a single mum speaking out against a respected member of the community. Having the opportunity to write it down and pass it on would have helped to break the ice with the authorities. I would have probably reported the incident much sooner on a cash machine or phone app. This sort of technology would have let me prepare and say what I wanted to in my own words, own time, and own space.”

The report also urges the Met police to design a free smartphone app for rape victims. Once downloaded, the victim could discreetly send the police a short report and then delete the app.

Costing an estimated £30k – £50k to design the app for Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google’s Play store,4 the funding could be met by business sponsorship or charity grants.

‘eReport: Improving the reporting of rape using technology’ can be accessed at www.glaconservatives.co.uk/er

download

Click here to download the report

Or to save it right click 'save as' on this link www.glaconservatives.co.uk/er

Press

Upgrade cash points so victims can use them to report rape, Tories urge banks – Evening Standard
Rape victims could use cashpoints to secretly report attacks to police – ITV
Rape victims could report attacks using ATMs – IBTimes

References:
¹ Figures for The Met were obtained through an FOI request (February 2015). Regional breakdowns available in the Appendix (p.13) of the report.
² An “Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales” statistics bulletin by the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Office for National Statistics, (published 2013) estimates that 80% of rape incidents go unreported each year. Today’s report “eReport: Improving the reporting of rape using technology” obtained figures for reported rape incidents from the six largest police forces in England and Wales. Using the official 80% figure, the total number of estimated (reported and unreported) incidents was worked out.
3 FOI data from England and Wales’ six largest police forces: The Met, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, and Thames Valley police forces was obtained in February 2015. Regional breakdowns available in the Appendix (p.13) of the report.
4 “What is the cost of developing apps for mobile marketplaces?” Computer Weekly. 22 March 2011. http://www.computerweekly.com/news/1280097329/What-is-the-cost-of-developing-apps-for-mobile-marketplaces

3 thoughts on “Reporting rape on cash machines could detect up to 28k sex crimes in London”

  1. Hi,

    I've just read this article and find this very interesting. I was wondering if you can send me further information since I am a Psycho Sexual Therapist and would be very interested in getting involved in this work.

    Thank you.
    Sandra

  2. We have been working to help charities and public bodies address this challenge in the US. Most UK Police forces provide digital services already for the reporting of crimes of this nature.

    Surely using the mobile device that the majority of people have in their hands 90% of the time to connect with the digital services that are already available is the key.

    We help do this but at the same time keep the victim fully supported through the digital journey to ensure the most appropriate support is provided and outcomes achieved.

    http://www.liveperson.com/resources/customer-success-story/national-domestic-violence-hotline-success-story

  3. I think this over simplifies the ordeal the victim goes through after the sexual assault. The police aren't really the main road block to reporting, but it can be psychological trauma and confusion that's happened – particularly if the victim has been mentally manipulated by his/her attacker.

    I'd also want to know what would be recommended if you're not near a cash machine at the time, or that your phone is down when you've been attacked. However, I'm sure the first thing that'll be on someone's mind in that circumstance is survival.

    I'd also be worried about entering other personal details into a bank machine, and would want assurances that no data is stored by banks or companies handling the data for the apps.

    Also, the MET already have something: http://www.mydecision.co.uk/ It would cost even less that your proposed budget if the MET were to develop this much better.

    The money would be better invested in educating people about the seriousness of sexual assault.

    I'm also worried that it refers only to rape and ignores the severity of other sexual assaults.

Comments are closed.