CPS Wessex improves conviction rates for Violence against Women and Girls crimes during 2016-2017


2016-2017 has seen a considerable improvement by the Wessex Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the number of successful prosecutions across all three major strands of crime that fall under our Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) umbrella.

Over the last 12 months CPS Wessex has successfully convicted 72.3 per cent of rape cases, 84.1 per cent of domestic abuse cases and 84.8 per cent of serious sexual offences crimes across Wessex achieving the highest conviction rates nationally for a CPS Area.

Sophie Stevens, Head of Complex Casework and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit for CPS Wessex said: "We have worked tirelessly with our specialist prosecutors to improve their expertise by providing bespoke enhanced training, as well as working with our management team to better support all staff by providing them with the skills to deal with these difficult cases.

"In line with the CPS 2020 Objectives, we have continued to deliver justice for victims and witnesses, by improving the quality of our casework, through listening to the public as well as our VAWG scrutiny panel, which consists of members of the public who scrutinise finalised cases.” said Nicola Haywood, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Wessex (Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and Wiltshire).

"We have worked with our CJS partners such as our three police forces, Her Majesty's Court and Tribunal Service, Probation Service and Local Criminal Justice Boards across all three counties delivering against national objectives, such as 'Transforming Summary Justice' in the magistrates' Court and 'Better Case Management' in the Crown Court. These have assisted in improving case management through the court process, improved listings for high priority cases and resulted in an increase in guilty pleas, which eliminates the need for victims to give evidence in Court.

"This clearly demonstrates our commitment to championing the rights of Victims and Witnesses. I am pleased that as a result we have been able to improve our service to victims and witnesses of these abject crimes and ensure justice for those that have suffered from them."