Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

I thank the hon. Gentleman for dealing with some important points in a sensitive way. He will know that, alongside the violence against women and girls strategy, only a matter of weeks ago we published the rape review, which is focused on the end-to-end results of the criminal justice system from the moment at which the police record a crime through to a conviction or the other ways in which a case can be finalised. There is a real action plan in that rape review dealing specifically with rape prosecutions, and that forms part of our work to tackle this.

On building trust, a measure in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill sets out and clarifies the law on the extraction of data from mobile phones. This will not apply for every victim of sexual offences, but for many victims handing over their phone and losing it for months at a time has a real impact on their willingness to continue with the investigation, if indeed they volunteer at all. Through the Bill, we will be able to clarify the law and ensure that victims are treated properly in that regard. Of course, the rape helpline that we have announced in the strategy will also go a long way to helping victims have the immediate support they need, as and when they need it.