WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
February 01 2023
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO

Rape conviction rates continue ‘downward trajectory’ despite commitment to reverse decline

Rape conviction rates continue ‘downward trajectory’ despite commitment to reverse decline

Old Bailey: the central criminal court of England and Wales

The latest conviction rates for rape and domestic abuse cases continue on a ‘downward trajectory’ despite a commitment to reverse the decline, according to campaigners responding to the latest data released by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Following concern over declining rape convictions, the government and CPS made a public commitment that charging in cases of rape would return to 2016 levels, when 3,671 suspects were charged out of a total of 6,611 suspects referred by police. However from the 12 months to September 2021, 2,050 rape suspects were charged with 3,533 referred from the police indicating. According to End Violence Against Women (EVAW) a ‘plummeting level’ of rape prosecutions’ means that that the ‘inadequate’ 2016 stats were ‘shockingly now considered a level of ambition’ EVAW.

‘Our justice system is broken and failing women,’ commented Rebecca Hitchen, head of policy and campaigns at the coalition. ‘Despite continuous promises to improve and targets to meet, the system is completely stagnant when it comes to rape. Likewise, the alarming downward trajectory in charging, prosecuting and convicting in cases of domestic abuse requires urgent and serious attention.’

There had also been a significant increase quarter on quarter of the number of days it took from receipt to charge a suspect with rape. It took 10.1 days more when compared to the same quarter last year, increasing from 30.2 days to 40.3.

The data also shows a ‘continuation of the downward trajectory’ in the referral and conviction of suspects of domestic abuse. It was at its lowest since January-March 2020/21; the number of pre-charge receipts was at 16,504 compared to 21,789. The conviction rate has remained relatively steady with an increase of only 0.4%.