Coventry & Warwickshire

Rape reaction: 'Coventry no worse than anywhere else'

A city councillor has reassured residents that Coventry is "no worse for risk of rape than anywhere else".

Councillor Ann Lucas made the comments after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, which discussed an NHS Coventry report.

The report showed there were 109 rapes reported in Coventry in 2007-8, which is 71.3 per 100,000 population - compared with a national rate of 42.5.

The study's author, John Forde from NHS Coventry, said: "It is grim, there's no getting away from that."

'People feel confident'

Ms Lucas, a domestic violence spokesperson, said: "I know the figures seem bad on the face of it, but I have to be hopeful that it's partly because of the work we've done to encourage people to disclose sexual violence."

The Labour councillor added: "We look in Coventry like our figures are worse than anywhere else, but higher reporting of rape can mean people actually feel confident in reporting.

"A number of the reports will be historical rapes too, as people often disclose much later in life."

The annual report, which was commissioned by the Labour-run authority, is now with the city council's scrutiny board.

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