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CPS says: Rape is not 'the perfect crime'

|News, Sexual offences

A recent feature on Sky News described rape as ‘the perfect crime’ (99 per cent of rapes reported to Police do not result in legal proceedings - October 15 2020). The CPS is very concerned about the impact this harmful claim could have on victims coming forward. To be clear, of the thousands of people who go through the justice system every year, many are convicted of rape and serious sexual offences.

Rape is one of the most horrendous crimes for someone to endure and we share the public’s concern about prosecutions falling for rape and serious sexual offences. Across the CPS, work is ongoing to drive improvements at every stage of the justice process, from first contact with the police about a case to presenting evidence in court. Local initiatives, including much earlier contact with police on their investigation and a focus on improving file quality and triage clinics to look at cases, have already reduced delays for victims awaiting a decision on their case and increased the number of charges for rape and serious sexual offences.

We know there is still much more work to do and our five-year Rape and Serious Sexual Offences strategy shows our commitment to that. This strategy provides our vision to take significant steps every year to improve prosecution rates, by working with partners across the criminal justice system and victims’ groups to understand where the challenges are and find the best way forward.

The CPS is working hard to resolve the reasons behind the fall in prosecutions so we can deliver justice for more victims. A joint action plan is being developed between the CPS and police to collectively drive improvements in RASSO investigations. As part of this, our specialist prosecutors are working closely with the police on how we can better support victims, improve casework quality and progression, as well as increase expertise on these complex crimes.

Our commitment to driving the improvements in this area is clear and we will not stop until the public has full confidence in our handling of these offences. We are dedicated to bringing perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice and whenever our legal test is met, we will prosecute.

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