A RAPE is committed every five days on average in Waltham Forest.
Figures obtained by the Guardian from the Metropolitan Police under the Freedom of Information Act reveal sexual offences in the borough occur with disturbing regularity.
Between April 2004 and April 2007, 212 rapes were recorded, but only 67 people charged.
During the same period sexual crimes other than rape, which include offences such as indecent assault, child abuse and flashing, were reported in the borough on average every 48 hours.
One in five allegations resulted in a prosecution, with 18 people accepting a caution, meaning they admitted the offence but were not required to stand trial.
There were 56 reports of rape in the financial year 2004/5, compared to 83 in 2005/6 and 73 in the 12 months up to April this year.
The number of other sexual offences dipped last financial year to 165, compared to a high of 190 the previous year.
Despite the number of rape allegations increasing nationally, only one in 20 reports ends in a conviction - a near record low.
Home Office research published last month found the main reason was insufficient evidence, with complainants withdrawing the allegation in a third of cases.
PROJECT Sapphire, which investigates sexual offences, has had a dedicated team based at Walthamstow Police Station since last year.
A spokeswoman said: "Waltham Forest's conviction rate for rape and sexual offences currently stands at 46.2 per cent, the fifth highest in the Met.
"The introduction of a dedicated Sapphire unit and an increase in the number of Sexual Offences Investiga-tion Teams has boosted training, intelligence and resources in the borough, which in turn
has greatly improved victim care.
"More victims are prepared to go to court to secure convictions.
"During a rape or sexual offence investigation, the victim's wishes are paramount. Officers will always strive to secure a conviction, but we cannot force a victim to pursue a matter or go to
court if they do not wish to do so.
"The complexity of some cases involving rape and sexual offences means each case is dealt with on its own merits and individual circumstances taken into account."
If you have been a victim of rape or a sexual offence, contact the Sapphire unit on 020 8345 3276.