The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 were victims of sexual assault, including attempts, in the year to March 2020. But only an estimated 16 percent of female victims aged 16 to 59 of rape or sexual assault by penetration told police. For male victims it was 19 percent. Police in England and Wales recorded 162,936 sexual offences during that time, a drop of 0.7 percent compared with the previous year, the ONS added.
Helen Ross, from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “The number of sexual offences recorded by the police has fallen slightly after nearly tripling in recent years.”
But she added that the number of offences “remains well below the number of victims estimated by the survey, with fewer than one in six victims of rape or assault by penetration reporting the crime to the police”.
Out of the 773,000 adult victims of sex crimes, there were almost four times as many female victims than men.
The ONS said 618,000 were women and 155,000 were men.
Ms Ross said: “Our latest findings from the crime survey showed a decrease in the prevalence of sexual assault in the year ending March 2020.”
She added: “Though it should be noted that the current e nt estimate is similar to levels seen over much of the last 15 years.
“The drop was driven by reductions in indecent exposure or unwanted sexual touching.
“However, there was no change in the prevalence of rape or assault by penetration.”
The analysis, published yesterday, is based on data on sexual offences from the Crime Survey for England and Wales and police recorded crime from the Home Office.