A group of women’s rights organisations have published a new report, which will be discussed by MPs this afternoon (1) examining the parlous state of rape investigations and prosecutions in England and Wales, and calling for radical changes relating to police and prosecutor working practices, and the evidence and jury systems in court.
The new 80-page report by the Centre for Women’s Justice, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales, ‘The Decriminalisation of Rape: Why the justice system is failing rape survivors and what needs to change’, refers to ongoing legal action against the CPS for failings in this area (3), and sets out overwhelming evidence that rape cases are being dropped when they should not be. Such cases include those where:
- there were weapons and serious injuries;
- where a suspect was shown to be lying;
- where multiple victims have given testimony against one suspect;
- and where the CPS has incorrectly implied that ‘one word against another’ with no other corroborating evidence is grounds to close a case (it is not).