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

I have some sympathy with some of what the hon. Gentleman is saying. One very welcome bit of progress we have made as a society in recent years is in building the confidence and trust of victims of previously hidden crimes, be they domestic violence, sexual violence, rape or modern slavery, to come forward—frankly, I am damned if we are going to go backwards on that. I think the House is united on that. Of course there is some underlying risk, which we will monitor extremely carefully through the impact assessment, but I am serious about the counter-risk. If the police do not get consents and if we really do restrict access to mobile phones in this day and age, we will undermine the process of critical improvement in our disclosure process. As I said, the counter-risk is of cases continuing to collapse at the last minute, which is the worst possible outcome. I am sure that he and I would both wish to avoid it.