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Volume 560: debated on Tuesday 26 March 2013

7. What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Crown Prosecution Service in rape prosecutions. (149751)

I thank the Solicitor-General for his answer. However, in 2011-12, the CPS took no further action in nearly half the cases that involved a rape allegation that were referred to it by the police. What reasons have the Law Officers identified for that?

It is difficult to prosecute some cases. Often, it is the word of one person against the word of another. It is important in those circumstances to ensure that the victim who is the witness is properly supported. In addition, it is vital to have corroborative evidence and to use it effectively. It is sometimes said that there are a lot of incorrect allegations, but recent research by the CPS shows that there are very few cases of that sort. There has been a big improvement in the conviction rate, but we cannot be complacent. As the hon. Gentleman says, it is important to tackle this matter.

Royal Assent

I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that Her Majesty has signified her Royal Assent to the following Acts and Measures:

Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Act 2013

Presumption of Death Act 2013

Mobile Homes Act 2013

Antarctic Act 2013

Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013

Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013

Diocese in Europe Measure 2013

Clergy Discipline (Amendment) Measure 2013.