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Rape: Convictions

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to address the differential conviction rates for rape in different police force areas. (157748)

The Criminal Justice PSA for 2008-11 makes clear that Local Criminal Justice Boards should treat the investigation and prosecution of serious sexual offences including rape as a priority. We have recently introduced new arrangements for managing the performance of police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service areas on rape, and have established an operational support team to assist all forces, working with the CPS, to develop effective strategies for the investigation and prosecution of rape.

Specialist Officers and Specialist Rape Prosecutors are now in operation across the vast majority of England and Wales, and we continue to roll out guidance and training for the police, prosecutors and barristers on dealing with sexual offences. We are also working to improve the support provided to victims throughout the criminal justice process, through the expansion of the national network of Sexual Assault Referral Centres and the introduction of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers.