Tuesday 23 April 2013 by Catherine Baksi
Conviction rates for rape have risen to an all-time high, according to figures published by the Crown Prosecution Service today.
The statistics reveal that from April 2012 to the end of March 2013 the CPS prosecuted 3,692 rape cases. Of those, 63.2% resulted in convictions, up from 62.5% on the previous year.
The recorded data include all cases initially charged and flagged as rape, including those cases where a conviction was obtained for alternative sexual offences or serious offences such as homicide or offences against the person.
The figures show that the conviction rate for domestic violence has also increased by 1 percentage point this year. Of the 70,702 prosecutions, 74.3% resulted in convictions, up from 73.3% last year
Keir Starmer QC (pictured), director of public prosecutions, said the CPS had put in a lot of effort to improving its approach to rape and domestic violence cases, implementing a strategy to tackle violence against women and girls five years ago.
He said: 'For victims of these appalling crimes, the message is clear: you can have confidence that the criminal justice system is getting better and better at prosecuting these offences and if your case is charged there is now a very strong chance that your attacker will be convicted. Offenders too should be warned.'
Starmer announced last month that a dedicated rape and serious sexual offence unit will be established in every CPS area to sustain and improve its performance in these types of cases.
In addition, in November last year the CPS, in partnership with the Association of Chief Police Officers, published a new domestic violence checklist for police officers and prosecutors to help build the best possible prosecution case and ensure victims get the service they deserve.
But Starmer said more work needs to be done: 'Violence against women and girls is a key priority for the CPS, and we continue to monitor our progress on these types of cases very closely to ensure we continue to improve our performance.'