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 great respect for the hon. Lady’s experience in this area, and I totally accept what she is saying about the lack of trust out there. I am happy to be corrected on this, but I genuinely think that this country—I am not making any political point here—has made great progress in recent decades in trying to encourage victims of previously hidden crime to come forward. That makes it all the more important that we get this right.

Yes, the volume of rape prosecutions has fallen. That is a concern to us, which is why we are doing a root and branch review of criminal justice processes in relation to rape. However, the number of prosecutions for sexual offences is at the highest volume ever recorded. I come back to my main point, which is that this is not a new process; it is a new form, which the police are open to improving if there is a strong view that it needs to be improved. The motivation behind the form is to try to ensure that consent to handing over mobile phones is better informed. This process is currently done differently across the country, which does need to be remedied.