It is estimated that 8 out of 10 sexual offences remain unreported.
According to Office for National Statistics figures, in the 12 months to March 2018, there were 150,732 sexual offences recorded by Police, an increase of 24% on the previous year and the highest number ever recorded.
Home Office research in 2018 estimated the financial burden of sexual offences on both individuals and society to be £7.4bn, working out at £6,520 per crime (rising to 39,360 in the case of rapes). Roughly three-quarters of this cost was made up by the emotional and physical impact on victims. Only £160 of this cost was made up of defensive expenditure per incident in the anticipation of sexual offences. In comparison, some £4,040 is spent on average per incident in the anticipation of vehicle theft (a crime which has a total estimated cost of around £35,180). See The economic and social costs of crime, second edition for more details of this research.
Sexual offending is not just a problem for the criminal justice system to deal with. Everyone has a role to play in helping to reduce sexual offending: security staff in shopping centres, attendants at local swimming pools, and care workers at housing associations are just some of the groups of people we've helped to prevent sexual offences taking place.