Rape Victims: Disclosure of Evidence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:33 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department 4:33 pm, 29th April 2019

The hon. Gentleman lets himself down by trying to make cheap political points on this issue, because we are talking about a very serious matter in our criminal justice system and its integrity. He and other Opposition Members know that the problem of disclosure has run for a very long time, going way back into the 1990s, and I would have hoped that there would be cross-party support for what is being done to make radical improvements to that process.

The hon. Gentleman will also know that one of the big game changers in recent decades has been the exponential growth in the volume of digital data and the challenge that that brings to the police. He continues to give the impression that what has been announced today is a new process, but the police have been taking and requesting access to mobile phones for some time. What today represents is a well-intentioned attempt by the police to bring together best practice in a national form so that there is consistent practice across the country and so that consent is as well informed as possible—that is the intention of this form.