Alleged sex crimes and domestic abuse offences now account for one in five cases pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service, it has been revealed.
They made up nearly 20% of the organisation’s caseload in 2016-17, compared with less than a tenth a decade ago after a huge surge in the categories, new figures show.
The rise tallies with a sharp jump in reports of sexual abuse to police seen in recent years in the wake of high-profile investigations launched after the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Authorities are also mounting increasing numbers of investigations involving the internet, including child sexual abuse, harassment and revenge pornography cases.
An in-depth report from the CPS details how more defendants than ever before are being prosecuted for sexual offences in England and Wales. The number of rape prosecutions completed rose from 4,643 in 2015-16 to a record 5,190 in 2016-17.
Prosecutions for sexual offences excluding rape also reached a new peak of 13,490 in the latest financial year. Together with domestic abuse cases, the alleged crimes made up 19.3% of the CPS’s caseload, compared with 7.1% a decade ago.
There were year-on-year falls in prosecutions for “honour-based” violence and forced marriage, the report shows, while there were no prosecutions for female genital mutilation.