Conviction rate for rape, domestic abuse, and sexual offence cases improves in North West

06/09/2016

The conviction rate for rape, sexual offences and domestic abuse prosecutions in the North West has improved, a report published today shows.

In 2015/16 just over 13,000 defendants were prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the North West area (Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria) for these crimes (grouped together as Violence against Women and Girls (VaWG) with 79% of defendants convicted in 2015/16 up from 77.8% in 2014/15.  Nationally the conviction rate in 2015/16 was 74.2%.

The CPS's annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows that the largest improvement in the conviction rate in the North West comes in rape cases, with 61.4% of defendants convicted, up 8.3% on the previous year.  81.6% of defendants charged with sexual offences other than rape were convicted, an improvement of 4.9% on 2014/15.   The conviction rate for domestic abuse cases remained broadly consistent at 79.6% (79% in 2014/15).

Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor, North West Area said: "I am pleased to see that the conviction rate in the North West for domestic violence, rape and sexual assault offences has improved this year.  The prosecution of crimes involving violence against women and girls is one of our key priorities, and I hope that today's report will give victims confidence in coming forward and reporting these crimes to police.  The message is also clear to those who commit these offences; where we have evidence we will bring prosecutions.

"Over the last year CPS North West has set up a specialist unit for prosecuting rape and serious sexual offences, with specially trained prosecutors and paralegal staff, and since this team was established we have seen a significant improvement on the number of successful prosecutions for sexual offences."

Summary of conviction rates for 2015/16 compared to 2014/15

Violence Against Women and Girls overall

North West - conviction rate up 1.2% to 79%.  (All CPS areas - 74.2%)

Domestic abuse

North West - conviction rate up by .6% to 79.6%.  (All CPS areas - 74.5%)

Rape

North West - conviction rate up 8.3% to 61.4%.  (All CPS areas - 57.9%)

Sexual Offences

North West - conviction rate up by 4.9% to 81.6%.  (All CPS areas - 78%)


You can read the full Violence Against Women and Girls report 2015/16 here.