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Rape convictions fall to record low in England and Wales

The number of people prosecuted and convicted for rape has fallen to the lowest level since records began.

Prosecutions and convictions more than halved in three years while rapes increased. 

Police recorded 55,130 rapes but there were only 2,102 prosecutions and 1,439 convictions in England and Wales in 2019-20. Three years earlier, 41,616 rapes were recorded, a third less than currently, and there were 5,190 prosecutions and 2,991 convictions.

The drop means the CPS prosecuted and convicted fewer people for rape in the year to March 2020 than in any other year where data exists.

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

“This is devastating news for victims and survivors of rape, and all forms of sexual violence and abuse. There is no disputing how dismal these figures are.

There can surely no longer be any denying that this situation must be treated as the urgent national priority it is. If this was any other crime so serious and traumatic, with such wide-ranging, often lifelong impacts on individuals, relationships, health and communities, the complete absence of justice for victims and survivors would have been recognised as a national emergency long ago.

At Rape Crisis, we have recognised it as an emergency and priority for many years, and along with partners, members and victims and survivors themselves, we’ve told Government, criminal justice agencies, the media and others time and time again of the need for urgent, meaningful and significant action. We will not stop sending that message until this unacceptable situation begins to tangibly improve.

And we will continue to provide the specialist support services victims and survivors need, want and deserve, and to promote and amplify their voices, until the world is free from sexual violence and abuse.”

Find the full statistics at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) website