Convictions Constantly Plummet While Rape Cases Increase Rapidly

Despite the increase in rape cases in the UK, the number of people prosecuted and convicted has plummeted, infuriating campaigners.

Rape convictions fall to record low in England and Wales
Demonstrators attend the March4Women rally in London/ Piture credit: The Guardian

Despite the increase in rape cases in the UK, the number of people prosecuted and convicted has plummeted, infuriating campaigners.

Recent figures have shown that the number of prosecutions and convictions dropped by more than 50 per cent while rape cases increased prompting concern from campaigners who claim that the crime is being decriminalised.

In a joint statement, the National Police Chiefs` Council`s leads for rape, domestic abuse and charging said: “[W]e are hearing from our officers that it is becoming harder to achieve the standard of evidence required to charge a suspect and get a case into court. Victims tell us clearly how important it is to them to have the evidence tested in this way.”

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In 2019-20 figures in England and Wales showed 55,1330 rapes but there were only 2,012 prosecutions and 1,439 convictions. In the three preceding years, 41,666 rapes had been recorded, a third less than the current record, and there were 5,190 prosecutions and 2,991 convictions.

The plummeting records have suggested that the CPS prosecuted and convicted fewer people for rape in the month of March this year than in any other year where data has been recorded.

Sarah Green, the director of the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition, said: “Today’s figures show starkly that we are right to say rape has been effectively decriminalised. What else can you call a 1 in 70 chance of prosecution?

“The DPP’s constant exhortation to victims that they must come forward is frankly too much to take. How can he say that in any sincerity when the outcomes are so disastrous and when he is casting doubt on previous prosecutions?”

The CPS has been urged to change its practice in rape instantaneously not in “half a decade”.

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