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Rape convictions fall to lowest level in five years

29 Aug 2019

The multi-agency Rape Monitoring Group (RMG) has published data today (29th August 2019) showing how cases of rape were dealt with at all stages of the criminal justice system in 2017-18. The data covers every police force in England and Wales.

At a national level the data showed:

• The overall charge rate has decreased compared to the previous year, from 6.8% to 4.2%.
• The overall number of reported rapes has increased compared to the previous year, from 41,186 to 54,045.
• The number of incidents of rape which were not recorded as crimes (the N100 classification) has increased compared to the previous year, from 8,624 to 11,913.
• The number of cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision has decreased compared to the previous year from 6,606 to 6,012.
• The number of suspects found guilty of rape has decreased compared to the previous year from 1,350 to 1,062.

The group released data taken from the Home Office, Office for National Statistics, Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice. The data are presented in the form of an online dashboard covering all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales, as well as the British Transport Police.

Data previously published for the following year shows that charge and conviction rates have continued to fall since then.

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

“Today’s figures reconfirm the alarming decline in rates of criminal justice for the increasing numbers of victims and survivors of rape who are choosing to report to the police.

Our criminal justice system is routinely failing those who’ve been subjected to sexual violence and abuse of all kinds, at every stage of the process.

Rape Crisis has called for a complete overhaul of the criminal justice system in relation to sexual offences for many years and we reiterate now the urgency and thoroughness with which the Government must treat the end to end review it has promised.

Meanwhile, the police and Crown Prosecution Service must explain why, when more and more victims and survivors are putting their trust in them by coming forward, fewer and fewer are receiving the justice they want and deserve.”