New figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service have shown a drop in the number of rape cases referred to them by police amid fears that some officers are not taking victims seriously.
The CPS figures showed they were given 5,404 cases to investigate by police in the last financial year, 2,700 down on 2010-11; a fall which contradicts the fact there has been a rise in the number of cases reported to police in the first place. The number of rape complaints recorded by the police has grown steadily, from 13,096 in 2008-09 to 17,061 in 2012-13.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, who secured the release of the figures through a Parliamentary question, said that questions have to be asked as to why police are not sending more cases on to the CPS. She says that police forces are being asked to cope with spending cuts of 20% and says there is widespread concern that too many cases are being dropped which should not be.
The crime prevention minister, Norman Baker, said that he was also concerned about a drop in the number of referrals to the CPS and said the government was meeting with the CPS and police forces to see how they are dealing with rape cases.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, the national policing lead on adult sex offences for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said that work had been commissioned to find out why the fall in referrals had taken place and to deal with any issues that were identified.