RAPE victims are being urged to contact police despite a dip in detection rates.

Figures show that Lancashire remains above the national average for detection rates and East Lancashire higher still.

Data published today by the Government’s Rape Monitoring Group shows that across the county, 80 per cent of adult rapes were left undetected.

While this figure seems low, it actually puts Lancashire in the top third of all areas in England and Wales for conviction rates.

The average detection rate for reported rape in England and Wales is 18 per cent.

However in 2011, 35 per cent of reported rapes in East Lancashire ended with someone being charged and in 2012, 40 per cent of reported rapes resulted in someone being charged, compared with 30 per cent in the last year.

According to an FOI request, last year, 146 reports of rape were reported in East Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale) leading to 44 convictions.

The number of reported rapes had risen slightly from 143 reported rape cases in 2011, but was down one, from 147, in 2012.

The Rape Monitoring Group report said: “It is widely recognised that rape is under-reported by up to 85 per cent with many more rapes committed than are recorded by the police”.

Victim support charities also warn that the low conviction rate is a contributing factor to why many rape victims feel they cannot report the crime.

Across the whole of Lancashire, the detection rate for child rape was reported as 47 per cent, putting Lancashire somewhere around the national average.

The report added: “We know that in the wake of publicity associated with the late Jimmy Savile, more people have come forward to tell the police about sexual abuse...the police service want to encourage more victims to come forward and report rapes.”