CPS prosecuting and convicting more cases of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse than ever before

6 Sep 2016

The Crown Prosecution Service is prosecuting and convicting a record number of rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases, a report published today shows.

The CPS’s annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows that rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for 18.6% of the CPS’s total caseload and this figure has been increasing year-on-year. In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted 117,568 defendants for all crimes grouped together as Violence against Women and Girls (VaWG).

More than 100,000 defendants were prosecuted for domestic abuse, with over 75,000 convicted – the highest volumes ever recorded, also reaching the highest ever conviction rate of 75.4% by March 2016. In December 2015, the new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour also came into law, and our statistics show there were five prosecutions of this offence completed by the end of March 2016.

Katie Russell, for Rape Crisis England & Wales, said:

“Rape Crisis welcomes the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) annual Violence against Women & Girls report and the ongoing commitment to scrutiny and transparency it represents. 

The gradual increase in the volume of referrals, charges, prosecutions and convictions reflects the growing number of survivors of child sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault who are willing to report to the police, and that some progress has been made towards improving responses to sexual violence and violence against women and girls.

At the same time, it’s clear there is still some way to go before all survivors of these types of crime receive the justice they want and deserve and there is no room for complacency.

 Half of those who contact our specialist Rape Crisis services each year are adult survivors of child sexual abuse; today we call again for improvements in the collection and collation of data so that this significant group is properly represented in statistics such as these in future.  As long as offences are presented only to reflect the age of the victim at the time the offence took place and not at the time of reporting, adult survivors of child sexual abuse remain hidden within official figures.

Rape Crisis believes that all survivors of all forms of sexual violence deserve to be seen and heard and to have access to both criminal and social justice, including specialist support and advocacy services.  Today’s figures highlight the ongoing vital importance of long-term sustainable funding for such services.” 

Find the press release from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), headline figures and full report on the CPS website here.