Brå has studied the characteristics of reports of rape of adult women, how the investigative work is conducted, and the reasons why so many investigations are dropped. The courts’ operations are also explored. Finally, a smaller study has been conducted concerning whether different groups of persons suspected of rape are treated equally by the criminal justice system.
Brå’s general conclusion from the study is that police and public prosecutors generally expend extensive efforts to clear filed rape reports. It is also clear that the work has improved during recent years. For example, the percentage of complainants who are assigned injured party counsel has increased when compared with previous reviews. The police also used rape kits more often in 2016 than during the period 1995-2006.
However, in Brå’s view, there are possibilities to improve investigations of rape, and such improvements would be meaningful for both the complainant and the suspect. On the other hand, the review does not indicate that it is possible to achieve a dramatically higher percentage of clearances through better investigation work. Even with better work on the part of the police and public prosecutor and with the anticipated effects of the 2018 change to the law, most reports of rape will still be closed.
© The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention 2019
Authors: Stina Holmberg och Lars Lewenhagen