According to a consultant to the Danish National Police, the sharp increase is due in part to police districts better recording rape reports.
“We are very pleased that we now have more accurate numbers on how many men and women have reported rapes. Previously there were many cases that were treated under the category of ‘investigation numbers’ that did not get included in the statistics of reported rapes,” Thomas Brædder told Metroxpress.
Last year it was reported that an investigation by the Ministry of Justice indicated that as many as 700 rape cases per year were being filed incorrectly by police.
The majority of the ‘missing' reports were hidden in police statistics by giving them investigation numbers that did not classify them as rape cases. A number of police departments confirmed to Metroxpress that this was standard practice in cases where there was doubt as to whether a rape had actually occurred.
That practice was discontinued in November 2015, so the 2016 rape report figures from Statistics Denmark represent the first full year under the improved reporting.
But there are still concerns that the official figures only paint a partial picture. According to Metroxpress, a new study is underway to determine how many rapes go unreported in Denmark each year.
“We are preparing to make a study on the number of rapes and sexual assaults so that we can put an actual figure on the extent. There are a number of cases in which the victim believes that she has been subjected to an assault but doesn’t believe that anything criminal has occurred,” Marie Heinskou, a professor at the University of Copenhagen who is involved with the coming study, told Metroxpress.
Brædder said that the Danish National Police also plans a public information campaign later this year that will encourage more rape victims to speak out.
“We know that there are a number of victims who for a variety of reasons never go to the police. We would like to speak with them,” he said.
Here are the number of reported rapes over the past six years according to Statistics Denmark: