Criminal Justice Review: Response to Rape - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:28 pm on 26 May 2021.

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Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 1:28, 26 May 2021

My Lords, as the Minister in the other place made clear yesterday, the underlying statistics in this area are indeed regrettable. He made it clear that he is taking personal leadership on this matter because rape is a cross-agency issue. We have the police and the CPS, both of which are rightly independent of government, and we have the Courts Service and the judiciary. Everybody must come together to improve the current performance.

The rape review will be published shortly after the Recess. I am afraid I cannot provide advance notice of its details today but I very much hope that, when they read it, the noble Lord and the whole House will welcome it because we intend it to be a transformational document that will lead to transformational change. Supporting victims of rape is an absolute priority for this Government; we have invested significant sums in that.

Let me give the House just one example of a change that can be made and which has real consequences. We have put in £27 million to create more than 700 new posts for independent sexual violence advisers. They stand with victims throughout the process. We have seen what is terribly called victim attrition. People opting out of the system goes down by 50% and more than 50% of people stay in if they have these advisers to help them. We will work, I hope with the noble Lord, to improve the statistics in this area.