Top Prosecutor welcomes improved protocol for rape cases

09/01/2015

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside Martin Goldman has welcomed a revised protocol which will further improve the way police forces and CPS deal with cases of rape.

CCP Martin Goldman said:
"Rape is one of the most serious offences we deal with as prosecutors and very often causes victims long-lasting trauma.

"Prosecuting rape takes time and high levels of knowledge and expertise as well as a comprehension of the psychological effects of sexual violence and how to challenge myths and stereotypes.

"One of the most effective ways in which we can help victims is by building the strongest case possible from the outset, which is one of the key aims of this joint protocol.  This can lead to a guilty plea from the defendant, meaning the victim does not have to appear in court at all.

"Last year, there were 355 prosecutions for rape in Yorkshire and Humberside. That's expected to rise in the coming year both locally and nationally, and we expect this trend to continue.  In some ways, this increase in cases being prosecuted  is encouraging as it means more people have the confidence to come forward and report the fact that they have been raped and we can then work on  building a robust case to put before a jury.

"One of the recommendations of this joint protocol is the maintenance of specialist Rape and Serious Sexual Offence (RASSO) units across the country. Yorkshire and Humberside was one of the first areas in the country to create these units and that model has now been rolled out across the country.

"The unit in  Yorkshire and Humberside is staffed by a team of trained specialist rape prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offence cases, including making sure victims are given all the support they need, such as considering applying for special measures for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses.

"Yorkshire and Humberside has one of the best conviction rates in the country for rapes and sexual offences. In 2013-14,  our prosecutors secured  convictions in more than 65%  of rape cases we prosecute.

"So, if you are reading this and you have been the victim of a serious sexual offence such as rape, I hope you will have the courage to come forward and report your ordeal to the police so that they can investigate and  we at the  CPS can prosecute the perpetrator.  Rape is one of the most abhorrent crimes we, at the CPS,  prosecute."