New statistics from the Home Office show police believe "no crime" took place following 11 per cent of rape complaints last year.

In contrast, allegations are not investigated in just two per cent of reported burglaries, drugs complaints and robberies, and four per cent of non-sexual assaults. The only category with a higher level of "no crime" incidents is fraud and forgery at 13 per cent of all cases

The level of "no crime" classifications varies significantly across police forces. Only one in 20 were rape allegations were not investigated in Essex, while one in five were dropped in Surrey.

The Home Office defines a "no crime" situation where police determined no wrongdoing was committed or original information was recorded in error.

Earlier this year, a study by the Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorate found pressure to keep recorded cases to a "minimum" may lead forces to write off too many allegations as "no crime" incidents.

The report found the police's "performance management regime of the past" meant there was too much concentration on targeting the proportion of rape allegations solved.

It suggested this could lead to genuine reports of rape being written off as if they had never occurred.

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