JUST one in every 60 rape cases reported in Hampshire ends with a suspect being charged, new figures show.

The rate is significantly lower than for crime overall, with sexual violence charity Rape Crisis saying that the justice system is “failing victims and survivors of rape”.

Between April and June this year, 538 rape cases were closed by Hampshire police. Of those, just nine resulted in a suspect being charged or ordered to appear in court.

Charges were less likely for rape than other sexual offences, for which 5 per cent of the 865 cases reported resulted in a charge. For other cases of violence against the person, 10 per cent resulted in a charge.

In nearly half of rape reports, the case was closed because of lack of evidence, with the victim unwilling to support further action.

Nationally, a suspect was charged in 4 per cent of rape cases and 8 per cent of other sexual offences.

Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis England and Wales, said: “These figures are extremely concerning, but reflect what we already know: the criminal justice system is failing victims and survivors of rape, sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence.

“Despite record numbers of people coming forward to report to the police, criminal justice outcomes are lagging far behind those for other violent crimes.”

Across England and Wales the rate at which charges are brought in rape cases has dropped sharply in recent years.

National Police Chiefs’ Council assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt, said: “The police response to the investigation of rape is constantly evolving. There have been improvements in the specialist training of officers, greater access to sexual assault referral centres, and improved crime recording practices are all aimed at supporting those who take the brave step in coming forward.”

A spokeswoman for the CPS commented that fewer rape cases were referred by police last year, but 47% of those received were charged.