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CPS Says: Our response to BBC documentary on rape

|News, Sexual offences

There is no doubt the case highlighted by BBC today is harrowing and we have offered an unreserved apology to the victim for the mistakes we made and the stress and trauma she has endured.

We want to reassure victims of these devastating crimes that the CPS has made significant strides in recent years to transform the way rape and serious sexual offences are handled. We know too few victims are seeing justice done and we are working hard to make sure more rape cases are going to court year on year.

Working jointly with police, we have looked end to end at how we investigate and prosecute these cases so we can improve every aspect. This means assessing the evidence with care, based on expert understanding of this crime, and building strong cases which can pass swiftly and efficiently through the system.

There are promising signs – we are seeing more case referrals, more suspects charged, and decisions made more quickly. But this needs to happen right across the country, so we are focussing on making sure our service is consistent and compassionate for all.

Without question, these are among the most challenging cases to prosecute. Every rape case that comes to the CPS is dealt with by a specialist prosecutor in a dedicated rape and sexual offences unit. 

We fully appreciate our work comes too late to have any impact on this case and can do little to minimise the distress of the victim.  We are committed to delivering meaningful change in how we investigate and prosecute rape to try and build public confidence and help more victims see justice. 

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