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New minimum standards for rape and sexual assault victim support

New minimum standards for rape and sexual assault victim support

New minimum standards for the support of rape and sexual violence victims have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). The new framework will enhance the way we work with Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) – a vital support system for survivors of rape and sexual violence – and other support services who work across the criminal justice system.

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CPS updates rape legal guidance to reflect rapid growth in digital evidence

The CPS has published refreshed rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) legal guidance, delivering on our ongoing commitment to make the prosecution of these crimes reflect today’s rapidly changing society.

How we prosecute rape - read more

How we prosecute rape

Find out more about how we prosecute rape and serious sexual offences, with links to guidance, policy, news, case studies and more that explain how we deal with these complex and harrowing cases. READ MORE

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The CPS response to the coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. The Government’s priority is to do everything it can to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impact.

The measures taken to protect public safety and maintain essential services are reviewed and adapted in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

The CPS is carefully following Government advice and guidance while keeping our own operations under constant review.

We continue to work with partners in the criminal justice system to ensure that urgent work can continue safely, using technology to minimise in-person contact wherever possible.

Uppermost in our thinking is ensuring - in all our work - a safe environment for all those involved.

All updates to our website content related to the coronavirus crisis.

The latest information for prosecuting advocates on the CPS response to COVID-19.

Read the latest information about the Government’s response and plans.

Follow the latest information about prevention, treatment and travel.

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Update on the impact of COVID-19 for Victims and Witnesses

We appreciate that this is a particularly worrying time for individuals involved in criminal proceedings. We continue to work with partners in the Criminal Justice System to ensure that urgent work can continue safely, using technology to minimise in-person contact wherever possible.

For more information, please visit our Victims and Witnesses page

The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales. The CPS is independent, and we make our decisions independently of the police and government.

Our duty is to make sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence, and to bring offenders to justice wherever possible.

The CPS:

  • decides which cases should be prosecuted; 
  • determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises the police during the early stages of investigations; 
  • prepares cases and presents them at court; and 
  • provides information, assistance and support to victims and prosecution witnesses. 

Prosecutors must be fair, objective and independent. When deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case, our lawyers must follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This means that to charge someone with a criminal offence, prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and that prosecuting is in the public interest.

Crime info

We prosecute people for hundreds of different types of crime every year. This section gives an introduction to some of the categories of offending that we are asked about most often.

Victims & witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

From reporting the crime to passing sentence we explain what happens, the role of the CPS and what you can expect from us.

Support for victims & witnesses

Prosecution guidance

This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice. 

View all prosecution guidance
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