Rape and serious sexual assault offence (RASSO) cases are among the most sensitive and complex cases prosecuted by the CPS, and they have a profound impact on victims. To address this, CPS has undertaken extensive work over the last decade to ensure that specialist prosecutors are fully equipped to deal with the particular complexities of rape cases.
The vast majority of RASSO cases are handled by specialist prosecutors working in either dedicated Area RASSO units or the dedicated CPS charging service CPS Direct. The first dedicated Area RASSO Units were established in 2014. The number of RASSO unit prosecutors and CPS Direct Prosecutors is displayed at Annex A.
A small number of rape and serious sexual offence cases are dealt with by RASSO trained specialist prosecutors in the Central Casework Divisions (CCDs). It is not possible to provide year on year numbers of RASSO trained specialist prosecutors in the CCDs.