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Rape convictions continue to fall

30 Apr 2020

According to quarterly figures released this week by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), rape convictions fell by 19% in the last three months of 2019, when compared to the previous year.

The number of completed prosecutions dropped from 684 to 524 in rape cases, while convictions dropped from 445 to 362 compared to 2018. This data refers to the period before the current COVID-19 pandemic and related infection control measures.

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

“These latest figures confirm that people subjected to rape in England and Wales continue to be failed by our criminal justice system.

Despite unprecedented numbers of victims and survivors of these traumatic crimes choosing to report to the police in recent years, rates of charging and prosecution continue to fall annually, and the overall charging rate is an unacceptably low 1.5%.

Also very worryingly, the considerable length of time it takes for charging decisions to be reached in these cases continues to grow still longer, prolonging distress and uncertainty for complainants, and increasing the danger of their being re-traumatised by the criminal justice process.

If the data was like this year after year for any other crime so serious, with such significant, long-term impacts on the lives of victims and survivors, there would quite rightly be widespread outrage.

Rape Crisis has called for a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system in relation to all sexual offences for many years and these figures confirm that the need for action is more urgent than ever.

It’s vital the Government remains committed to the rape review it started last year.

People who’ve been subjected to sexual violence and abuse need and deserve so much better.”

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