Rape: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 19th September 2017.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Attorney General, how many complaints the Crown Prosecution Service received on the handling of allegations of rape under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each year since 2004-05.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Attorney-General

ANSWER: ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of complaints received about the handling of allegations of rape under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This information could only be obtained by examining CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

It does however hold data about the Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) scheme. A VRR arises where the CPS finalises a case with a decision that qualifies under the scheme. Qualifying decisions are where the CPS:

(i) makes the decision not to bring proceedings (i.e. at the pre-charge stage); or

(ii) decides to discontinue (or withdraw in the Magistrates’ Court) all charges involving the victim, thereby entirely ending all proceedings relating to them;

(iii) offers no evidence in all proceedings relating to the victim; or

(iv) decides to leave all charges in the proceedings to “lie on file”.

The CPS launched the scheme in June 2013.

The table below shows the number of VRR appeals received by the CPS, where the principal offence was identified as a sexual offence, since the Scheme began.

June 2013 - March 2014

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

Total VRR Appeals Received

143

239

373

453

Number of Sexual Offence VRR Appeals Upheld

27

37

53

24

% of Sexual Offences Appeals Upheld

18.9%

15.5%

14.2%

5.3%

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