The latest update on the Rape Review has revealed the number of rape cases reaching court is up 91% from 2019 as improvements are being made across the criminal justice system.
The number of cases referred by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is also up 95% with the volume of cases charged increasing by two thirds.
This comes as the government recently announced victims will have access to “round-the-clock” support following the launch of a new 24/7 Support Line.
From this enhanced initial support, victims are also benefitting from better collaboration between the police and prosecutors and less intrusive investigations, along with greater support through the court process.
These cross-system improvements mean that while there is much more to be done, the government is on track to meet its Rape Review target of more than doubling the number of adult rape cases reaching court by the end of this parliament.
“I want to make sure victims are properly supported throughout the criminal justice process,” said Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, adding:
“That is why we introduced a 24/7 rape and sexual abuse helpline, pre-recording of evidence in court to spare them the trauma of testifying during a live trial, and a new approach to police investigations that focuses on the behaviour of the suspect rather than the victim.”
The government say that in 2021 the number of rape convictions increased by 67% compared to 2020, and the CPS is making charging decisions on average 29 days quicker according to the latest data available.
This comes as the Home Office recently published an independent report outlining the findings on Operation Soteria, which brings together academics and police to improve rape case outcomes and aims to radically transform the way police and the CPS deal with rape – shifting the focus onto the suspect, rather than the victim.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said “radical improvement” is needed in the handling of rape victims to overcome “big obstacles”, though noted there are “early signs of improvement” which she is determined to build upon.