If 58,657 allegations of rape were made in the year ending March 2019 but only 1,925 successful prosecutions for the offence followed, something must be wrong. The National Criminal Justice Board has commissioned work to determine where exactly the justice system is failing victims.
This inspection looks at one small part of the overall picture. It examines whether the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is part of the problem. Has the CPS changed the test it applies when deciding whether to prosecute? Is the CPS demanding unnecessary further investigations be carried out before being prepared to reach a decision? Is the CPS risk averse? The three questions are interlinked and our conclusions are set out in the report that follows, as well as in the underlying data published on our website. What we found is a complex series of issues that cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, although we have tried to simplify them in the summary that follows.
...There can only be an effective criminal justice system – and one in which the public can have confidence – if it is properly resourced. The one we have has been under-resourced so that it is close to breaking point. In the case of the police, it may have gone beyond that, and while that is for others to assess, the number of rape allegations lost in the investigative process is damning.