Sexual Offences: Convictions

Home Office written question – answered on 25th November 2021.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of crimes of sexual violence against women and girls in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what assessment her Department has made of the conviction rate for such crimes in those areas in each of the last five years.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

In recent years, the number of sexual offences recorded by the police has increased as forces have improved their recording of these crimes and more victims have come forward to report due to high-profile cases and awareness campaigns.

The Government welcomes the fact that more victims of sexual offences, which are all too often hidden crimes, are coming forward and reporting these crimes to the police. However, it also recognises that there is more to be done to tackle violence against women and girls generally and, in particular, to improve the outcomes in rape and sexual offence cases.

In June 2021, we published our end-to-end review of how the criminal justice system handles rape. It set out a robust programme of work to drive improvements at every stage of the criminal justice system’s response to rape. Regularly published scorecards will show how the criminal justice system is performing under a series of key metrics, and regional scorecards will allow us to drill down to see where actions are working well and where improvement is required.

Furthermore, we have recently published a cross-Government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to help ensure that women and girls are safer everywhere – at home, online and in public.

Finally, for 2021/2022, the Ministry of Justice will provide £150.5 million for victim and witness support services, which includes £51 million to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims. This year’s Spending Review will deliver access to justice by continuing to invest across the justice system and expanding the support available for users. It will: bolster support for victims of crime by increasing annual funding for Ministry of Justice victim support services to over £185 million by 2024-25, an uplift of 85% from 2019-20.

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