Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire rape crisis centre to open by March

Generic representation of a rape victim Image copyright PA
Image caption Lincolnshire Police says it investigates all reports of rape thoroughly

A new rape crisis centre including a telephone helpline is set to open in Lincoln, organisers have said.

Lincolnshire Rape Crisis will offer counselling to female rape and sex assault victims starting in March.

A third of all reported rape incidents in Lincolnshire last year were dropped by police - the highest percentage in the country.

Centre manager Laura Wint-McKane said it would support women whether they want to press charges or not.

No 'culture of disbelief'

Lincolnshire Police said victims of rape could be confident their cases would be dealt with.

The centre is being funded with support from the Ministry of Justice, which is providing £125,000 a year to the rape crisis group.

The centre will have three full-time staff but will also need about 20 female volunteers to offer counselling and advice to women in the county.

Ms Wint-McCain said she hoped the service would be able to offer one-to-one counselling in other locations in Lincolnshire "in the near future".

The rape crisis group will start a major fund-raising campaign in September, she added.

Lincolnshire Police recorded 110 adult rapes in the 12 months to the end of March 2013, and subsequently decided 36 (33%) had not taken place.

In contrast, the average "no crime" rate for rapes in England and Wales was 12%, and the lowest was 3%, in Cumbria.

But Lincolnshire Police said there was not a "culture of disbelief" and it investigated all reports thoroughly.

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