VOYEURS and flashers in Hampshire are unlikely to be brought to justice, data shows.

The most recent Home Office recorded crime data shows the county constabulary received 347 reports of voyeurism or flashing crimes in the year to March 2021 – up from the 304 recorded the year before.

Different data shows cases of this nature are often shelved before reaching a courtroom, with 48 of the 337 investigations (14%) closed during the same period in the area resulting in a suspect being charged or summonsed.

Hampshire Constabulary has said that exposure and voyeurism are "potential pre-cursors to escalating sexual offending", adding that they take all reports of sexual offences seriously.

A spokesperson said: "Exposure and voyeurism are distressing in nature in themselves, but also are potential pre-cursors to escalating sexual offending.

"We take reports of all sexual offences extremely seriously, and we will always do our utmost to thoroughly investigate and identify the person responsible.

"Unfortunately, there are some instances where, despite a thorough investigation, we are unable to identify a suspect. However, where we are able to identify a perpetrator, we will relentlessly pursue them to get justice for victims and make public spaces safer.

"We know that far more needs to be done to tackle this, and we are prioritising the production of quality case files for investigations, supporting women throughout the criminal justice process, and building up trust in our service for them."

Forces across England and Wales recorded 10,200 such crimes in 2020-21, down from 10,800 the year before.

And another 3,300 were recorded between April and June 2021 – 128 in Hampshire.

Prior to the impact of the pandemic, which led to crime rates dropping, the number of offences had been climbing steadily in recent years.

Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was accused of indecent exposure six years before he murdered Sarah Everard and was said to have exposed his genitals in a fast-food restaurant just days before the killing.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is now investigating allegations that officers failed to adequately probe the claims.

Data shows 40% of the 10,400 cases closed nationally in 2020-21 were dropped due to difficulties gathering evidence, with one in six of those closed before a suspect could be identified.


e: emily.liddell@