New ONS data shows that there has been a rise of reported sexual offences in Wiltshire during the last year.

This week the Office for National Statistics released the sexual offences in England and Wales overview for the year ending March 2022.

It shows there has been an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported by Wiltshire Police in the last year, with the number rising from 1,437 in 2020-21 to 1,745 in 2021-22, which shows a rise of 21 per cent.

Reported incidents of rape in Wiltshire have also risen, from 95 in the 2020-21 period but now rising to 103 in 2021-22.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Victims of all sexual offences need, and deserve, quality investigations with perpetrators swiftly bought to justice through the criminal justice system.

“Wiltshire Police is showing that progress has been made in the last 12 months - and that is welcomed - but the Chief Constable and I are under no illusion there is still work to be done.

“Domestic abuse arrests rates are improving steadily and the Force has significantly increased the number of domestic violence protection orders issued, which is a step in the right direction.

“These figures show the Force’s new Volume Crime Teams are driving performance improvements in investigations, particularly around domestic abuse – with more cases referred to Crown Prosecution Service, more quickly, and the number of perpetrators being charged and prosecuted is increasing.

“A promise of tangible change, which can be seen and felt by victims who call for help when they are at their most vulnerable, has been made by the Force and it is my job to ensure that is delivered and the Force has the right tools and resources needed to aid that.

“With the key investment of £750k, from the precept, in the Forces’ dedicated VAWG team and Chief Constable Catherine Roper now in post and violence against women and girls a key strand through her Safer Spaces and Violence priorities, I am confident residents will continue to see these improvements being made and that this will be reflected in future data.

“I believe that one victim is one victim to many, which is why I would urge victims of rape and sexual assault to report offences to the police so they can be fully investigated.”