FEWER than five per cent of all rape investigations concluded by Cheshire Police in 2021 led to a conviction.

In 2021, data shows that 1,311 allegations of rape were made to the force, with 38 cases being heard in court that year.

Just six of these cases resulted in a suspect being convicted.

Across the county, 4.1 per cent of investigations concluded by the police last year led to a conviction.

However, the national statistics for England and Wales show just two per cent of concluded investigations led to prosecution - meaning that Cheshire is performing well above the national average.

17 per cent of cases in Cheshire were dropped due to 'evidential issues' - despite a suspect being identified, alongside support from the victim.

11 per cent of cases had not identified a suspect, and 64 per cent of cases were dropped because the victim did not wish to take the case any further.

In April 2022, the most frequently reported crimes in Warrington Town Centre were violent and sexual offences - which made up 46 per cent of all crimes reported in the area in April.

The Department for Justice has announced that specialist courts will be established to deal with cases such as these.

Jayne Butler, chief executive of Rape Crisis, said enough is not known about how the specialist courts will work and insisted a "proper consultation with specialist sexual violence support services" is needed.

Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, Mark Roberts, said: "We know that when people are subjected to such harrowing experiences, it can be extremely difficult for them to voice what has happened.

"Since last year, the force has deployed a team of uniformed and specially trained plain clothed officers to identify and tackle anyone who may be displaying predatory behaviours such as harassment, loitering without reason and stalking behaviour in key areas across the county."