The number of offenders being convicted of rape in England & Wales has fallen to the lowest point since records were released in 2009. Just 1439 were convicted in 2018/2019 compared to 2,991 in 2016/17.
According to a BBC study backed up by Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) data, the statistics suggest something is wrong at the heart of the justice system when it comes to dealing with non-consensual sexual assault cases. Amongst the key reasons for the sharp reduction in convictions is the attitude of the police and CPS lawyers when assessing the viability of a particular case. Fewer than 1 in 65 cases led to a charge or summons last year.
The BBC article suggest that “informed sources claimed some investigators were frustrated that growing numbers of rape cases they had worked on were not resulting in a prosecution and were more selective about which ones they sent forward for a charging decision.”
It is also taking longer for suspects to be charged with some cases taking 5 months to reach the decision stage as compared to 6 weeks in 2015/2016. Campaigners will be working hard to help the CPS improve the system and among them the Centre for Womens Justice have been very vocal about the reforms that are needed suggesting that rape is almost being de-criminalised.
We help victims of rape and sexual assault pursue much needed compensation following their ordeal. Please contact us if you wish to discuss your case in more detail. It is possible to claim an award even where the offender is not charged by the police.