Rape: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of reported rape cases in 2017-18 passed to the CPS by the police forces of England and Wales were returned to the police for further evidence to be gathered, and were not subsequently returned to the CPS with that further evidence.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Solicitor-General

The CPS recognises that rape and serious sexual offences have a significant and profound impact on victims. It is vital to ensure that cases are investigated thoroughly in order to bring them to justice. To achieve this, it is necessary in many cases to seek further information before a prosecutor is able to determine whether or not to charge. In such cases, an action plan requesting further evidence will be provided to the police by the CPS.

When the Police are unable to respond to the action plan, the case is administratively finalised. This is an administrative process where cases are closed on the CPS’s Case Management System if, after reminders from the CPS, the Police do not submit further information. Such cases may be reopened if, at a later date, new material is provided to the CPS by the Police enabling them to decide whether to charge.

The Police may also seek ‘early investigative advice’ from the CPS to assist in determining the evidence required for a charge. In these cases the CPS may also administratively finalise a case if after receiving CPS advice, the Police do not re-submit the case.

In 2017/18, 22% of all rape cases referred to the CPS were administratively finalised.

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