Daily Express

No justice...just one in 77 rape suspects charged

- By Michael Knowles

‘The crushing reality is the system is continuing to fail victims in ever increasing numbers’

APPALLING failures in the criminal justice system were laid bare yesterday as it emerged only one in every 77 rape suspects were charged last year.

Victims’ Commission­er Dame Vera Baird led widespread fury over the “barely discernibl­e” prosecutio­n rate of just 1.3 per cent.

The number of rapes reported has increased by 13 per cent in a year.

But analysis of Home Office figures by the Daily Express shows that while police were told of 63,136 offences, only 820 alleged rapists were actually charged.


Dame Vera said: “There is no escaping the numbers; record highs in reported rapes and sexual assaults – and charging rates so low as to be barely discernibl­e.

“This is of grave concern and a depressing­ly familiar story...we are once again faced with the crushing reality that the criminal justice system is continuing to fail rape victims in everincrea­sing numbers.”

More than 40 per cent of rape cases were closed because the victim did not support further police action.

Dame Vera said: “For so many victims to have built up the immense courage to report, only to withdraw within a matter of weeks, is deeply worrying and suggests the situation is worsening, some seven months after the Government’s Rape

Review promised to set things straight.”

Other victims have to wait so long to get to court – more than a year in almost one in four cases – they give up.

Police and prosecutor­s have come under fire for building poor cases against alleged rapists. But many point towards the justice system being overwhelme­d by rising caseloads, falling resources and increasing­ly complex investigat­ions.

The Criminal Bar Associatio­n, which represents barristers, warned of a “perfect storm entirely of the Government’s own making”.

Writing in the Daily Express today, Jo Sidhu QC says the justice system “is teetering on collapse”.

Labour is demanding action. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “These figures are appalling. Dangerous perpetrato­rs are getting away with rape and victims are being badly let down. Labour is calling for specialist rape investigat­ion units to be restored to every police force area.”

The figures cover the months after the murder of Sarah Everard, 33. Her killing last March by police officer Wayne


sparked a national debate about sexual violence. The ONS urged caution when interpreti­ng the data, saying it may reflect a “number of factors” including the “impact of high-profile incidents, media coverage and campaigns” as well as a rise in the number of victims. The PM’s spokesman said: “We are taking long-term action to prevent violence against women and girls, bringing perpetrato­rs to justice and ensuring victims get support they need.”

 ?? Picture: POSED BY MODEL ?? Shocking... figures show how rape victims are being failed
Picture: POSED BY MODEL Shocking... figures show how rape victims are being failed
 ?? ?? Fury... Dame Vera Baird
Fury... Dame Vera Baird

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