The appointment of specialist rape prosecutors is the responsibility of local chief Crown prosecutors, who appoint specialist prosecutors in accordance with the requirements of their area. The Crown Prosecution Service is currently unable to provide figures as to how many specialist rape prosecutors there are in the CPS. However, the CPS has trained and appointed a significant number of prosecutors as specialist rape prosecutors as part of a rolling programme in all 42 CPS areas. By the end of March 2011, all training for 2010-11 will be completed, and the information on the number of specialists will then be available.
I thank the Attorney-General for his response. May I remind him that the Stern report said that nine out of 10 rapes go unreported? Given the 25% cuts in the budget of the CPS, will he assure us that all those who have been trained by the end of March 2011 will be in jobs?
First, I can give the hon. Lady a figure: 584 delegates are shown as having attended the rape and serious assault training course between July 2008 and December 2010. That might help to give her an idea of the numbers. There is no intention that the priority that is given to this extremely serious offence should be in any way downgraded as a result of savings having to be made within the Crown Prosecution Service.