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New Interactive Data Dashboard Shines Light on Criminal Justice System Handling of Rape Cases

25 May 2018

On behalf of the national Rape Monitoring Group (RMG), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published a new interactive dashboard to enable a more thorough analysis of how rape is dealt with locally at each stage of the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

The dashboard includes data from the Home Office/Office for National Statistics, Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice. It can be used to view previous years’ data, as well as the most up-to-date information, which dates from the financial year 2016-17. 

Rape Crisis England & Wales said:

"Rape Crisis welcomes the ongoing commitment of HMICFRS to transparency and to scrutinising the handling of sexual offences by the criminal justice system in England and Wales. 

This new interactive dashboard is an important resource that helps give a fuller picture of the experiences of sexual violence victims and survivors who've chosen to report to the police in recent years. 

The latest data available shows a 150% increase in rapes recorded by the police over a four year period, to 41,186 in 2016-17. This striking and ongoing rise in the numbers of victims and survivors willing to pursue criminal justice mirrors our own experience as a Rape Crisis movement of unprecedented demand for our specialist support services in recent years. In 2016-17, our network answered 202,666 helpline calls and provided ongoing, face-to-face services to over 67,000 individuals.

Yet charging and prosecution rates have remained at a consistently low over the same period, at between 3 - 4,000; this is deeply concerning. Meanwhile, the criminal justice system routinely takes too long and often feels re-traumatising for survivors, and the specialist Rape Crisis services there to support them remain chronically under-resourced. 

It is clear the criminal justice system is currently failing on sexual violence, in multiple ways and at every stage of the process, including inconsistent police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) practice,and hugely invasive disclosure of survivors' personal information. Urgent action is long overdue."