Campaigners are calling for a “radical overhaul” of the response to low-level sex crimes say the criminal justice system is failing victims, after just 14% of voyeurism or indecent exposure crimes across England and Wales ended with a charge or court summons in 2020-21.
The most recent Home Office recorded crime data shows Humberside Police received 178 reports of voyeurism or flashing crimes in the year to March 2021 – up from the 150 recorded the year before.
Different data shows cases of this nature are often shelved before reaching a courtroom, with 33 of the 175 investigations (19%) closed during the same period in the area resulting in a suspect being charged or summonsed.
Forces across England and Wales recorded 10,200 such crimes in 2020-21, down from 10,800 the year before.
And another 3,300 were recorded between April and June 2021 – 46 in Humberside.
Campaign group End Violence Against Women and Girls called for more research into the response to “lower level” sex offences and whether that response contributes to a sense of impunity in men who go onto commit more serious crimes.
Deputy director Deniz Ugur said: “It’s abundantly clear the current system is failing women and girls when incidents like street harassment, groping and flashing are almost universally experienced by women and girls across their lifetimes, and then are so often trivialised or dismissed if reported.”
A Government spokeswoman said police forces “must tackle violence against women and girls head on”.
She said the Government is funding a new national policing lead to tackle violence against women and girls in recognition of the seriousness of the issue and the need to drive improvements.