Offences against Children

Attorney General written question – answered on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Attorney General, what recent discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions about the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service in prosecuting child sexual abuse cases.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I have regular discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on a wide range of criminal matters, including child sexual abuse (CSA) cases. The prosecution of CSA cases were specifically discussed at a meeting in February this year and the DPP outlined to me how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is coordinating its response with the police to the Home Office CSA Inquiry.

In October 2013 the CPS issued guidelines setting out a new approach to CSA cases. Steps to be taken include the use of specialist prosecutors, the provision of dedicated CPS units to manage such cases, and the application of a new approach to considering evidence in such cases. In 2014-15, the number of child abuse prosecutions rose by 2,047 to 10,045, the highest volume of cases ever. There were 74.4% convictions in 2014-15, falling slightly from 76.2% in 2013-14, but overall there was a rise in the volume of convictions in the child abuse cases to 7,469 in 2014-15 from 6,096 in 2013-14.

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