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.
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.
A 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.”