Downing street to set target for rape.

Inside Time report – https://insidetime.org/downing-street-to-set-target-for-rape-trials/

last paragraph – Sarah Crew, the National Police Chiefs Council lead on rape, told The Guardian: “Police remain committed to the cross-government review of how the criminal justice system handles rape. That review is still ongoing and is yet to report its findings … Outcomes for victims of rape are not good enough and all of the criminal justice system will use the review’s findings to improve.”

NOT GOOD ENOUGH – THE RAPE INVESTIGATIONS SHOULD BE ABOUT JUSTICE – NOT ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’ tell that to THE MANY FALSELY ACCUSED OF RAPE/SEX OFFENCES WHO HAVE BEEN . check out the BBC 3 film ‘I am not a rapist’ and weep.

Questions asked by a prisoner because of false allegations, (see ‘I am not a rapist’ iplayer . https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p08pldr0/i-am-not-a-rapist ) whose case has been turned down by the CCRC, asked about Their statistics for the following listed years – applications received 1,948 since 2010/2011 – that relate to sex offences. sent to the court of appeal – 2010/11 – 10, 2011/12 – 2, 2012/13 – 7, 2013/14 – 2, 2014/15 – 1, 2015/16 – 1 2016/17 – 1, 2017/2018 – 1.

The CCRC is being investigated by the All All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Miscarriage of Justice to see whether they are providing a proper service in forwarding/not forwarding cases to the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) for assessment. if they think there is a real possibility that they (the RCJ) will quash that conviction or change the sentence. If the CCRC refer a case it means that there must be an appeal. It is then the court’s job to arrange and hear the appeal and decide whether or not to quash a conviction or change a sentence.

Scottish Legal News

Courtesy – Scottish Legal News 3/9/20

Those being released from prison in England and Wales are receiving these polygraph tests – but they are not used when the police are questioning people subject to sex allegations. this begs the question WHY!

Margaret

FASO

UK government told to keep pseudoscientific polygraph tests out of Scotland

John Finnie

The Scottish Greens have told the UK government to keep their polygraph tests out of Scotland’s legal system following reports that ‘Jeremy Kyle’ lie detector tests could be rolled out across the UK for convicted terrorists.

A review of terror legislation has recommended the polygraph tests – despite the fact they are widely regarded to be pseudoscientific. Polygraph technology is most widely used in the US.

Justice spokesman John Finnie said: “Amnesty International have rightly expressed serious concerns about the use of these tests, which are already used by officers in England and Wales. There is no evidence that they work, and there are books published about how to fool these tests.

“Scotland has always had a separate legal system, and the Tories have no mandate to meddle with it in this way. If UK ministers are so confident in the efficacy in this disproven method, they should take the test themselves over their claims on NHS spending and their intentions to dismantle devolution and hand Boris Johnson a veto over our parliament.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “We don’t use ‘Jeremy Kyle’ polygraph tests in our Justice system in Scotland, never have. UK Govt Ministers want power to introduce them in Scotland without consent of Scot Govt & Parliament.

“This measure won’t keep us safe.”

He added: “What’s worrying is UK Govt want to be able to bypass Scottish Parliament & Govt & have power to introduce polygraph tests in our justice system without our consent – justice is devolved (hence why they would need an LCM).”

Mental Health in prisons

Mental health is increasingly being the subject of false allegations as we hear on the FASO helpline as well.

Mental Health Care in Prisons (courtesy johno newsletter) Margaret FASO

  • 26% of women and 16% of men said they had received treatment for a mental health problem in the year before custody.
  • 25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis.The rate among the general public is about 4%.
  • Self-inflicted deaths are 8.6 times more likely in prison than in the general population.
  • 70% of people who died from self-inflicted means whilst in prison had already been identified as having mental health needs.

However, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) found that concerns about mental health problems had only been flagged on entry to the prison for just over half of these people.

The PPO’s investigation found that nearly one in five of those diagnosed with a mental health problem received no care from a mental health professional in prison. The PPO also found that no mental health referral was made when it should have been in 29% of self-inflicted deaths where mental health needs had already been identified. 40% of prisons inspected in 2016–17 had inadequate or no training for prison officers to know when to refer a person for mental health support.

Anonymity – Scotland and N.I.

Anonymity something FASO has been recommending and fighting for with Welsh/English governments for a long time. 

Scottish and N.I. legislation consultation are not always seen and therefore not addressed. 

We want to rectify this with added focus:  FASO Covers the whole of the UK.

See last debate on anonymity also consultations  
https://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/files/5515/0669/0813/02.__Margaret_Gardener.pdf

Media discussion

https://www.carson-mcdowell.com/news-and-events/insights/reporting-restrictions-anonymity-orders-in-northern-ireland

Scottish Legal News 06/08/2020 (courtesy of)

Ireland: Sexual offences review backs anonymity for all defendants and greater support for complainants   chair Tom O’Malley SC

in the wake of the high-profile Belfast rugby rape trial, was originally meant to be completed by the end of 2018. The final 141-page report has been published today, Irish Legal News reports, via Scottish legal news.

It was commissioned by the government following criticism over aspects of the nine-week Belfast Crown Court trial of Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were found not guilty of raping a woman.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee announced this morning that she will prioritise the development of an implementation plan

Anonymity of defendants

Among the most significant recommendations of Mr O’Malley’s report is that the right to anonymity, which currently applies to almost all defendants accused of rape, should be extended to include defendants accused of all sexual assault offences.

Also robust hate crime legislation
Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ messageThat was the message from Justice Minister Naomi Long when she opened an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City…

Anonymity

Anonymity something FASO has been recommending and fighting for with Welsh/English governments for a long time.  Scottish and N.I legislation consultation are not always seen and therefore not addressed.  We will try to rectify this.  FASO Cover the UK  Margaret 16.8.20

See last debate on anonymity also consultations  
https://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/files/5515/0669/0813/02.__Margaret_Gardener.pdf

Media discussion

https://www.carson-mcdowell.com/news-and-events/insights/reporting-restrictions-anonymity-orders-in-northern-ireland

Scottish Legal News 06/08/2020 (courtesy of)

Ireland: Sexual offences review backs anonymity for all defendants and greater support for complainants   chair Tom O’Malley SC

in the wake of the high-profile Belfast rugby rape trial, was originally meant to be completed by the end of 2018. The final 141-page report has been published today, Irish Legal News reports, via Scottish legal news.

It was commissioned by the government following criticism over aspects of the nine-week Belfast Crown Court trial of Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were found not guilty of raping a woman.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee announced this morning that she will prioritise the development of an implementation plan

Anonymity of defendants

Among the most significant recommendations of Mr O’Malley’s report is that the right to anonymity, which currently applies to almost all defendants accused of rape, should be extended to include defendants accused of all sexual assault offences.

Also robust hate crime legislation

Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ message
Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ messageThat was the message from Justice Minister Naomi Long when she opened an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City…

Rape inspection 2019 rape inspection A thematic review of rape cases by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate December 2019

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmcpsi/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/12/Rape-inspection-2019-1.pdf  A thematic review of rape cases by HM Crown ProsecutionServiceInspectorate.

The Scottish Legal News of  Aug 10th 2010 have highlighted a report from a newspaper that Downing Street is to set targets to pressurise CPS in progressing eventual strong rape cases 
But the CPS does not need to be put under pressure of targets, as they should already be prosecuting those with strong evidence.  This will lead to the continuing miscarriage of justice.
What the Police and CPS should also be doing is keeping statistics of those who do not meet the test for prosecution, and the reason why – to make it clear that no-one has ‘got away with it’
That those found with no evidence, should be found ‘NOT GUILTY and be afforded access as VICTIMS, to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
That social services should take note of the not guilty, and after initial checks, allow the family back together or access to their children where parental disputes have arisen.  
that the DBS is not notified to stop job opportunity or the continuation of their jobs.
Margaret

FASO http://www.false-allegations.support.org.uk

18 years of supporting the falsely accused of sex offences and child protection issues


Downing Street is planning to set prosecution targets in rape cases for police and lawyers, The Guardian reports.

The Prime Minister’s crime and justice taskforce is to set targets for police to refer evidentially strong rape cases to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The move comes in the wake of a steep decline in the number of cases referred by police to the CPS and the number and proportion of rape cases prosecuted.

Rape prosecutions have dropped by 59 per cent since 2016-17, to 2,102 and 1,439 convictions in 2019-20. Reports of rape, however, rose by a third to 55,130. Referrals from the police to the CPS have fallen by 40 per cent since 2016-17.

UK government spokesperson said: “We are determined to restore faith in the justice system and give victims of rape the confidence that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice … We will continue to work with the police to look at ways to improve their role in the investigation and prosecution of rape, and ensure that their guidance and best practice is implemented in every police force area.”

Between 2016 and 2018 the CPS used its own targets and aimed to achieve a 60 per cent conviction rate. But the targets were dropped when prosecutors realised that they were inappropriate and may have acted as a “perverse incentive”.

Sarah Crew, the most senior police officer for rape in England and Wales, said: “Police remain committed to the cross-government review of how the criminal justice system handles rape. That review is still ongoing and is yet to report its findings … Outcomes for victims of rape are not good enough and all of the criminal justice system will use the review’s findings to improve.”

Scottish silk Thomas Ross QC told SLN that the suggestion was a “very bad idea” and warned against implementing anything similar north of the border.

He said: “The introduction of targets is a very bad idea. When the Crown Prosecution Service set its own target in 2016 it had an effect which was entirely predictable – prosecutors started to cherry-pick the good cases and became reluctant to prosecute the less straight-forward cases.

“Every case which is evidentially adequate and enjoys a reasonable prospect of success should be prosecuted; whether that approach results in a conviction rate of nine per cent or 90 per cent will be determined by members of the public serving as jurors.

“The Scottish Justice Secretary has never suggested targets, but he has opined that the rate of rape convictions is unsatisfactory. I believe that the conviction rate should mirror exactly the number of cases that are proved beyond reasonable doubt. That should be the only target, and I believe that we are meeting it.”

Pre-bail under investigation For FASO

Many on pre-bail (28 days does not exist) or Under investigation, which it often gets taken into, has no limitation.
More and more are mentally being affected by the accusation, followed by the length of time held on bail.  as well as not being able to work (sacked , put on garden leave) and many having the children taken from them (so children suffer the loss of a parent) – often to the ‘No further action’ because it was not a valid accusation in the first place. 
On completion of police investigation, no acknowledgement of innocence, still no job DBS, rarely returned children Social services legislation, no financial compensation or mental health support.
Our callers are now the Victim – no Criminal injuries compensation (even though the false accuser do not have their compensation taken back.) but more seriously, no mental health support and families back.
FASO hear from individuals with stories of the above – and support them whilst they go through this horrendous time.
MargaretFASO helpline


Hundreds respond to pre-charge bail review

By Monidipa Fouzder6 July 2020

Justice minister Alex Chalk said more than 1,000 responses have been submitted to a Home Office consultation on pre-charge bail laws, which closed in May following a coronavirus-related extension. Chalk was responding to a written parliamentary question from shadow legal aid minister Karl Turner about the consultation.

Pre-charge bail allows police to release a suspect from custody, usually subject to conditions, while officers continue their investigation or await a charging decision. Unlike bail, there are no time limits for release under investigation (RUI). Police figures
Police figures confirm 193,000 suspects…

 show that since a 28-day time limit for police bail was introduced in 2017, the number of suspects on bail has dropped dramatically. By contrast, the number of suspects released under investigation – including lengthy spells for some – has risen sharply.

The Home Office decided to review pre-charge bail amid concern that it is not always being used where appropriate to protect victims, investigations are taking longer to conclude and that this has had adverse impacts on the courts. 

Turner asked what assessment has been made of the effect of the 2017 reforms on criminal defence solicitors.

Chalk said that police must apply to a magistrate to extend pre-charge bail beyond three months. The Legal Aid Agency amended the 2017 standard crime contract to ensure legal aid was available for defendants in these new court proceedings. Legal aid contracts were also amended to allow providers to submit a payment claim within one month of being notified of an RUI. The claim can be reopened at a later date if the police investigation continues and further work is done.

Chalk said: ‘This amendment was in response to concern from defence practitioner bodies that any delays in investigations could delay the point at which they can apply for payment for work done on legal aid cases.’