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Rape: Convictions

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to increase the conviction rate in rape cases; and what assessment she has made of effectiveness of those steps. (255433)

The Government are committed to increasing the conviction rate for rape. In order to do so the Government have focused their effort on improving the response of the criminal justice system by implementing changes to the ways in which the Police and Crown Prosecution Service investigate and prosecute such cases and by providing special measures in court to ensure that victims are confident to come forward and report an offence, and see it through to conviction. The Government have also provided support for victims through services such as sexual assault referral centres and independent sexual violence advisors.

There are a number of different ways of calculating conviction rates. In respect of cases that are prosecuted as rape that result in a conviction for rape, the conviction rate in 2007 was 37 per cent. This is the highest it has been for 10 years.