Sir James Duddridge KCMG, Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East, questioned the Solicitor General on what more can be done to address the pitifully low percentage of successful rape prosecutions.
During questions to the Attorney General on Wednesday 7th December, Members of Parliament asked ministers what steps were taken by the Government to tackle low prosecution rates of cases of violence against women and girls.
In the year ending June 2022, prosecutions for rape offences were 49% higher compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, along with charging decisions by the Crown Prosecution Service on average 29 days quicker.
However, with the charge rate remaining low, Sir James asked,
“Although I welcome the absolute increase in the number of rape prosecutions in Essex, the percentage of prosecutions is still pitifully low.
“What more can the Attorney General do to help excellent police and crime commissioners such as Roger Hirst and Members of Parliament across Essex to improve the situation?”
The Solicitor General, Michael Tomlinson KC MP, responded,
“I thank my Hon. Friend for his question and for championing his local area, and he is right. One thing that we can do is to support victims, and we are doing that, not least through the ISVAs [Independent Sexual Violence Advisors].
“When victims have that help and support, they are 49% more likely to stay with the programme and to continue to support and progress through the criminal justice system.”