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House of Commons Hansard
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Rapes Reported to the Police: Number of Suspects Charged
14 January 2020
Volume 669
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9. What plans his Department has to reduce the disparity between the number of rapes reported to the police and the number of suspects charged with that offence. [900159]

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The hon. Member is right to raise this issue. It is extremely serious and, frankly, far too few reported cases are being progressed into the criminal justice system, so I entirely agree with and accept the premise of her question. The Government are taking action in this area. The extra 20,000 police officers will greatly help to get rape victims through the system and to get their cases into court. I referenced earlier the extra £85 million for the Crown Prosecution Service. A great deal of that will be targeted towards helping to progress those often very complicated rape cases. As recently as last September, the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Wendy Morton), provided an extra £5 million of funding for rape centres and ISVAs—independent sexual violence advisers—because one of the issues is rape victims dropping out of the process before the case reaches court. I hope that in the upcoming Budget and spending review, there is more we can do.

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In West Yorkshire, the number of rapes reported increased by 25% last year, but just 4.4% of those cases resulted in someone being charged. The same is true across the country, so what are the Government doing to ensure that the criminal justice system is properly resourced and that it does not let down victims and add to the trauma that they have already experienced?

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As I said, we are putting 20,000 extra officers into the system and £85 million into the CPS, and we are increasing expenditure on rape centres and ISVAs, although I am sure that in those areas, there is more we can do. There is also a review urgently under way to see what further steps we can take, but I believe that the actions that I have outlined, which are taking place as we speak, will move us back in a happier direction.