Sexual Offences: Criminal Proceedings

Home Office written question – answered on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Ann Coffey Ann Coffey Independent, Stockport

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government's document entitled, Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy Refresh, published in March 2019, what progress he has made on the end-to-end review into how rape and sexual violence cases are handled across the criminal justice system; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and we want victims to have the confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will get the support they need and that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

We are not complacent in these aims and that is why, in light of recent reduced volumes of police referrals, charges, prosecutions and convictions for serious sexual offences, we committed to undertake a review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offence cases

The review is being overseen by a Sexual Offences Sub Group of the Criminal Justice Board and we have held two Sub-Group meetings since May to agree terms of reference and develop a programme of work over the next few months. Priority areas of focus have been identified through input from specialist stakeholders and an initial data mapping exercise.

We expect to report back fully on the review and its recommendations in March 2020, in line with other commitments made in the VAWG Strategy.

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