No stone unturned to catch the rapists

Det Chief Insp Neil Esseen (below) is determined to bring rapists to justice. His calls have been backed by the parents of Jane Clough. The Blackpool nurse's murder sparked a successful campaign for justice.
Det Chief Insp Neil Esseen (below) is determined to bring rapists to justice. His calls have been backed by the parents of Jane Clough. The Blackpool nurse's murder sparked a successful campaign for justice.
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A TOP officer has stressed police are doing everything they can to catch the resort’s rapists.

Around 18 per cent of the 56 rapes across Blackpool and Fylde in the last year have seen the offender charged.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Esseen

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Esseen

But police have warned those committing the vile crimes officers will not rest until they have a conviction.

And as the family of murdered Blackpool nurse Jane Clough urged victims to turn to the police, Det Chief Insp Neil Esseen moved to reassure communities being raped by a stranger is “very, very rare”.

He said: “The figures over the last three years for stranger rape, where someone completely unknown drags someone off the street, are less than one per cent.

“It is very, very rare.

“If you look at 56 offences of rape you think there are a lot of people committing rape and nobody knows who they are – that’s not the case.

“We trace, arrest and interview more than 90 per cent of people accused of committing rape but we can only ‘detect’ when we charge someone.”

The detection figure for Blackpool and Fylde is below Wyre -– which is 39 per cent for 35 rapes – and below Lancashire Police’s 30 per cent rate across the force.

But DCI Esseen said Blackpool’s “night time economy” posed some difficulties for police – but stressed they would always do “everything they can” to help victims.

He added: “Alcohol does not rape people. People rape people.

“However, what alcohol does is lower your ability to protect yourself and your ability to recollect what went on.

“If you come forward the police will believe you and treat you sensitively and properly.

“It is about being able to tell the victim we’ve done everything we can and we’ve tried our level best, but sometimes we have to go back and say sorry there is not the evidence (to charge).”

Blackpool nurse Jane Clough was murdered at the hands of her ex-partner, Jonathan Vass, who was on bail facing rape charges against the 26-year-old.

And her father John said: “From our experience of the police with Jane they were very supportive.

“The police are much more aware about rape than they were in the past and they’ve a much more believing attitude with specialist people trained to deal with victims.

“Victims should not suffer unnecessarily because the police will believe you.”

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