How does the number of reported rapes compare with the number of convictions for rape?
The conviction rate from charge to conviction is 58 per cent., which represents a significant increase on what the rate has been historically. By analogy, 65 per cent. is the conviction rate for robbery. There is obviously still room for improvement, but things are going in the right direction. It is imperative that we send out a message that rapists are now being convicted at that rate, so that women—and, indeed, men—have the confidence to report, and do not feel that they will be put through the mill again. There is still a large drop-out rate between complaint and getting to court, but we are trying to tackle that in a range of ways. We now have 30 sexual assault referral centres, and a whole phalanx of independent sexual violence advisers who befriend and support a complainant from the minute they come to the police until the end of the case. This gives the complainant better sustenance than they would have had before.