UK News: 'Effective Decriminalisation Of Rape': CPS Slammed As Conviction Rate Drops To Just 3% - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News'Effective Decriminalisation Of Rape': CPS Slammed As Conviction Rate Drops To Just 3%

13:30  12 september  2019
13:30  12 september  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

Slump in rape prosecutions despite record number of allegations

Slump in rape prosecutions despite record number of allegations There were 1,925 convictions for rape or an alternative lesser offence during the financial year 2018-19, a 26.9% year-on-year drop, CPS figures show.

The conviction rate for rape cases rose slightly, by 0.7 percentage points. The CPS said prosecutions for stalking and modern slavery offences have According to Rape Crisis, in the same time period covered by the latest CPS figures the number of clients accessing their services rose by 17%, while

• If only it were just in rape cases that the CPS is failing to serve and protect the public. • Your recent reporting on the low conviction rate of young men accused of rape rightly highlights the impact failed prosecutions can have on complainants.

'Effective Decriminalisation Of Rape': CPS Slammed As Conviction Rate Drops To Just 3% © Getty Creative Scales of Justice of the Central Criminal Court fondly known as The Old Bailey in the city of London, England, UK

A slump in the number of people prosecuted for rape in England and Wales – coupled with record volumes of cases being reported to police - has prompted campaigners to brand the phenomenon “the effective decriminalisation of rape.”

The annual Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) report from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) shows there were just 1,925 convictions for rape or an alternative lesser offence during the financial year 2018-19, down from 2,635 in the previous 12 months - a drop of 26.9%.

Just one in THIRTY rape complaints leads to a conviction despite number of claims made to the police soaring to nearly 60,000 last year

Just one in THIRTY rape complaints leads to a conviction despite number of claims made to the police soaring to nearly 60,000 last year There were more than 57,000 rape claims in England and Wales in the last year - but less 2,000 convictions, the annual Volence Against Women and Girls report reveals.

Part three : Police demands for potential rape victims’ data spark privacy fears. Prosecutors in England and Wales have been urged to take a more risk-averse approach in rape cases to help stem widespread criticism of the service’s low conviction rates , the Guardian can reveal.

The conviction rate for rape dropped in the last 12 months after five years of steady In 2007-08, 58% of cases brought to trial resulted in a conviction . The conviction rate hit a high of 63% in 2011-12 Police sent 5,400 cases to the CPS in 2012-13, representing 31% of all reports they had received.

This is despite the number of rape claims dealt with annually by police in England and Wales rising from 35,847 to 57,882 during the last four years.

It means around 3.3% of all reported rapes end in a conviction.

Figures show that the charge rate for rape - essentially the decision to press ahead with a prosecution - has dropped from 64.3% in 2014-15 to 48.2% this year.

It represents the first time in five years that the percentage of legal decisions made by the CPS in rape cases has dropped below 60%, according to the data, meaning the percentage of decisions not to prosecute also increased to its highest rate in that time.

Despite an increase in the volume of alleged rapes reported to police, the CPS has seen a reduction in the number it decides to charge every year since 2015-16.

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Charity says prosecutors dropped cases where there was strong evidence. “We are hearing evidence from some women who have had their cases dropped , and you just wonder what on But if a case is reviewed and found to not have a realistic prospect of conviction then we cannot continue it.

However, the conviction rate in the same types of cases for men aged 25-59 was A spokesperson for the CPS said the figures for rape convictions underlined “the clear difficulties in prosecuting “Addressing the low conviction after contest rate in cases involving young defendants represents a

This is a decrease from 3,910 in 2015-16, to 3,671 the following year, then 2,822 last year, and 1,758 most recently.

The report said the number of rape suspects referred by the police to the CPS for a charging decision fell from 4,370 in 2017-18 to 3,375 in 2018-19 - a drop of 22.8%.

Andrea Simon, head of public affairs at the End Violence Against Women Coalition, which is among those looking to take legal action against the CPS, said: “These numbers represent real women subjected to rape, a crime which does enormous harm, who are then further victimised by a system that does not take them seriously.

“These shocking and unjustifiable failings speak to a clear and concerted shift in how the CPS has decided to prosecute rape.

“Leadership across the CPS needs to answer for these figures, which we say can only represent what is becoming the effective decriminalisation of rape.”

The CPS said the “growing gap” between the number of rapes recorded by the police and the number of cases going to court is a “cause of concern for all of us in the criminal justice system”.

Model charged with fraud in Neymar rape case

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CPS statistics reveal conviction rate is currently at 63% as prosecutors respond to claims too few cases appear in court.

Helen Reece argues lack of independent witnesses is main cause of conviction rate which is similar to that of other crimes.

The report said it was not an indication of any change in policy or lack of CPS commitment to prosecute.

Campaigners have previously argued that the CPS had begun ditching so-called “weak” cases in order to improve notoriously low rape conviction rates.

The CPS said the drop in rape charges was due to “a number of factors”, including reduction in the number of referrals from the police to the CPS, and an increase in the volume of time-consuming digital data.

In the wake of the figures, Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill - overseeing his first VAWG report - announced that the independent CPS watchdog, Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), will hold a review of rape charging decisions “to increase accountability and reassure victims of sexual offences”.

Hill said: “Rape is an awful, sickening offence, and I completely understand why the fall in charging rates is so concerning.

“Partners across the criminal justice system are coming together to look at how these cases are handled, and the CPS is playing its part by opening up our charging decisions to further scrutiny.

Three arrested on suspicion of rape after woman assaulted by a number of men in Down

Three arrested on suspicion of rape after woman assaulted by a number of men in Down The incident occurred this morning in Newtownards.

The conviction rate for rape and attempted rape in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in eight years, according to new figures. Although those convicted dropped from 105 to 98, this was still double the number of a decade ago (49) when far fewer cases made it to court.

It reveals that the conviction rate after trial in rape cases has fallen from one-third of cases (33 One senior police source described the report's findings on failing convictions as "horrifying". The CPS has introduced a number of measures to try and improve the conviction rate , including coaching its

“I have every confidence in the work of our dedicated prosecutors, but it is important that the public has confidence too.

“I intend to implement any changes which are recommended if they improve our processes and enable the criminal justice system to deliver swifter, more effective justice.”

Elsewhere in the report, figures show the number of suspects charged by the CPS with offences grouped under the VAWG strand - such as domestic abuse, stalking, rape, female genital mutilation and child abuse - dropped 13.2% from 187,545 to 162,717.

Combined, the number of stalking and harassment offences charged decreased from 11,992 in 2017-18 to 10,636 in 2018-19 - a fall of 10.8%.

The report comes as a coalition of women’s organisations, represented by the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), gets ready to launch a judicial review case against the CPS over claims sexual offences cases are being “dropped” without good reason - something Hill denied.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: “There has not been a change in approach from prosecutors at the CPS.

“I absolutely share the concern ... at the growing gap between rape reporting levels and the number of cases that are coming to court.

“I am not going to point the finger in any particular direction. We - all of us working in the criminal justice system - need to come together now to discuss this.”

Londonderry Park rape accused released on bail

Londonderry Park rape accused released on bail The men aged 18, 19 and 28 were arrested on Sunday , September 17 after a young woman reported to police she had been assaulted by a number of men in the vicinity of Londonderry Park, Newtownards. A PSNI spokesperson said this morning: "Three men, aged 18, 19 and 28 arrested by Detectives from Public Protection Branch investigating a serious sexual assault on a young female in the vicinity of Londonderry Park on the Portaferry Road in Newtownards on Sunday, have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Just prior performing oral sex, the female made a comment that she was “not sober.” That comment would become the central issue as to whether the female was “incapacitated” (and therefore unable to give true consent) under the Oberlin code and whether the male reasonably should have known that.

Our exclusive investigation examined why rape conviction rates for young men are so low. Our requests to the CPS for additional data on rape convictions were rejected. However, after some steady digging, we spoke to Ann Coffey, Labour MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary group for

Harriet Wistrich, CWJ director, said: “The CPS have repeatedly denied that they have changed their approach to the prosecution of rape.

“They have variously blamed the fall in the number of cases prosecuted on the delays caused by disclosure demand... and on the police for the failure to progress and refer cases.

“However, we have gathered evidence from a variety of significant sources which, taken together, provide a compelling picture that the primary cause of this collapse in prosecutions emanates from a deliberate change in the approach taken by the CPS dating back to late 2016.”

Useful helplines and websites:

Former MP refused leave to appeal against embezzlement sentence.
Natalie McGarry, who was jailed for 18 months after admitting two charges, can still challenge her conviction.

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