This report sets out the government’s action plan for improving the Criminal Justice System’s response to rape in England and Wales.
The “Rape Review” commenced in March 2019 and looked at evidence across the system – from reporting to the police to outcomes in court – in order to understand what is happening in cases of adult rape and serious sexual offences being charged, prosecuted and convicted in England and Wales.
They aim to:
- An increased volume of cases progressing through the system so that more cases get to court, and more convictions are delivered, with an initial ambition of returning to 2016 levels.
- Victim engagement increased at every stage of the process.
- Complex cases are not deprioritised. We will monitor the system and track the outcome of cases to ensure more difficult or historical cases are not dropped to get more cases through the system.
- High quality cases referred by the police to the CPS.
- Increase public confidence in high quality decisions made by the CPS based on
the evidence and material available and made in good time.
- Increased number of early guilty pleas. By improving the quality of the investigations and process overall we expect to see an increase in the number of early guilty pleas, so that victims do not have to wait as long for an outcome in their case and potentially avoid the challenges of going to court. The more early guilty pleas that are entered, the less the trauma for victims in having to give evidence at trial.
- Improved timeliness of cases at each stage of the criminal justice process.
- Limiting requests for information from victims, whether digital or held by third parties, to what is necessary and proportionate in pursuit of reasonable lines of inquiry and reducing the time victims are without a phone so that they are able to stay connected to their friends, family and support services during an extremely traumatic period in their life.
- Defendant’s right to a fair trial is maintained through quality case building, and robust and appropriate disclosure.