Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offences: Criminal Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 27 January 2022.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many outstanding (a) rape, (b) sexual abuse, excluding rape and (c) domestic abuse cases had been incomplete for more than a year as of 1 January of each of the last five years.

Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) mean and (b) median time was from offence to completion for cases of (i) rape, (ii) sexual abuse, excluding rape and (iii) domestic abuse in each of the last five years.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) , Assistant Whip

Below we have provided data on outstanding rape cases and sexual assault cases (excluding rape) over one year old, along with the median and mean duration (in days) of those cases from offence to completion. The data for each calendar year includes the figures as of 31st December of that year. For 2021, we can only provide that data up to the 30th September which is the latest published data available.

It is not possible to separately identify domestic abuse cases in the data we collate because domestic abuse cases are recorded as “assault” offences, and so we are not able to distinguish an assault case which includes domestic abuse.

The table below shows that the volume of cases over one year old was greatly impacted by the pandemic with a 540% increase between 2019 and 2020.

Volume of outstanding cases which have been outstanding for a year or more at the Crown Court

Rape

Sexual assault - excluding rape

2016

287

371

2017

248

295

2018

156

196

2019

84

121

2020

489

775

2021 (to September)

576

947

The table below shows timeliness across both areas. The impact of the pandemic has resulted in the median days from offence to completion increasing, and is at its highest level over the five-year period since 2016.

Offence to completion in days

Rape

Sexual assault - excluding rape

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

2016

676

2,393

547

2,356

2017

670

2,423

510

2,323

2018

727

2,664

488

2,299

2019

808

2,910

491

2,154

2020

796

2,359

546

1,791

2021 (to September)

1,020

2,767

695

2,115

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