No charges: More than 100 sexual assaults and 50 rapes reported in Northants hospitals since 2019
An FOI has revealed the number of sexual assaults reported in a hospital setting to Northamptonshire Police
More than 100 sexual assaults and almost 60 rapes were reported to have happened in Northants hospitals in a four year period.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request published on Northants Police website has revealed that from September 2019 to September 4 this year there were 103 sexual assaults and 58 rapes reported as happening in the county’s hospital.
The force says at least 22 of these assaults and eight of the alleged rapes were reported as happening on hospital wards although, the FOI team say this information has been gained from a manual read of the summary police report and may be inaccurate.
In none of the reported assaults or rapes was anyone charged or prosecuted by Northamptonshire police.
The FOI reports that 26 of the reported rapes were investigated but a suspect was not identified, in six instances the rape allegation was not taken forward because of evidential difficulties and 31 of the reported sexual assaults did not move forward due to evidential difficulties. In ten of the sexual assaults, the alleged attacker was not prosecuted because they were deemed to ill.
Northamptonshire has a number of NHS and private hospital settings. The two main generals are in Kettering and Northampton and there are also hospitals run by Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, private hospitals such as the Woodland Hospital near Rothwell and the St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton.
The FOI does not break down where the reported assaults took place and does not give the gender of the person who reported the assault. There is no information about whether the victim was a staff member, a patient or a visitor.
NN Journal understands the FOI request (by an unnamed person) has been made to several police forces.
During the same time period Staffordshire Police received 46 sexual assault reports and 33 rape reports within hospital settings while West Yorkshire Police had 124 sexual assaults and 39 rapes reported to it.
We asked Northamptonshire Police about the low prosecution rate.
A spokesperson said:
“The outcomes published here relate to all hospitals, including mental health establishments, over a near four-year period to September 2022.
“In our most recent Crime Data Integrity Inspection in 2020, this Force was rated as “good”. Significantly, our recording of crime requires a much lower standard to the threshold actually needed to investigate and bring a charge or summons.
“First and foremost, we always take a victim-focused approach. To that end, we would encourage anyone, in any setting, to report allegations of sexual abuse to us and for them to be reassured they will be properly investigated.”
A spokesperson for the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group, which runs Kettering and Northampton general hospitals, said:
“We would take all allegations of any kind of sexual assault on hospital premises seriously, report the allegation to the police, and support any police investigation. Our hospitals are safe and we have many hundreds of thousands of patient interactions every year without any cause for concern connected to this kind of criminal activity. There were only a very small number of sexual assault allegations across our two hospitals across this period and they were dealt with appropriately.”
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