British police
© AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
Police forces across Britain are now allowing convicted male rapists to be recorded as being female if they no longer want to identify with their sex at birth.

Six forces, including South Yorkshire and Thames Valley constabularies, were revealed to have adopted the practice, which allocated sexual offenders with a different gender identity on their official database which is used by the Home Office.

The information was revealed in a Freedom of Information request by women's rights group Fair Play for Women into how police compile official records.

In the request Durham, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk police forces, as well as British Transport Police, also hinted that they do record gender in line with the offender's wishes.

'You can't get much more of a male crime than rape,' Nicola Williams, director of FPW told the Sunday Times.

'It would be highly offensive to a woman who was raped to have it written down that her attacker was a female when clearly that was a male with a penis.'

Rape is defined as 'intentionally penetration... of another person with a penis' without consent, according to the Sexual Offences Act. Females cannot be charged with rape, but could instead face other sexual 'offence' charges.

In a statement, South Yorkshire police said: 'We will accept the details that an individual provides us and treat them according[ly].'

Responding to questions about males sex offenders identifying as females, Thames Valley Police confirmed they only be referred to as females in their system.

Dorset, Dyfed-Powys and North Wales police confirmed the same policy, as did Devon and Cornwall, although it also records the person's previous identity.

The National Police Chiefs' Council added: 'How gender is recorded is a matter for each individual force. However, as a general rule we will accept the details that an individual provides us and treat them accordingly.'

The records form part of the official returns, known as the annual data requirement (ADR), submitted by every police force in England and Wales to the Home Office.