Rape victims faced even longer wait for justice as barristers’ strike hit with time from charge to verdict stretching by 50 days to 446 days
- Adult rape cases took average of 446 days between being charged and a verdict
- The main delay came in the courts system as the barristers’ strike began in April
- Rape cases at Crown courts rose by 152 to 1,628 during the barristers’ walkout
- Police cut average time between a rape complaint made to a charge by 16 days
Rape victims faced an even longer wait for justice as the barristers’ strike took hold earlier this year, new data shows.
Adult rape cases in England and Wales took an average of 446 days between an alleged offender being charged and a trial reaching a verdict.
Figures from the Government’s ‘criminal justice scorecards’ showed the waiting time rose by 50 days on average between the first quarter of this year and the second quarter.
The main delay came in the courts system – as the barristers’ strike began in April.
Data published today does not cover the most damaging stages of the strike, when barristers launched a complete walk-out from the end of August
The average time between a court receiving a rape case and the completion of a trial rose by 29 days over the period, as backlogs rose due to the industrial action by criminal defence barristers.
Data published today does not cover the most damaging stages of the strike, when barristers launched a complete walk-out from the end of August.
The number of outstanding rape cases at Crown courts rose by 152 to 1,628 during the period.
There was better news on the time taken between a rape complaint being made and charges being brought by police. The average time fell by 16 days to 342 days.
In addition, the time taken by the Crown Prosecution Service on whether to bring rape charges fell by 29 days to 177 days, on average.
The average time between a court receiving a rape case and the completion of a trial rose by 29 days over the period, as backlogs rose due to the industrial action
The proportion of rape complaints which led to an offender being charged increased to 4.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year, up from four per cent in the previous three months.
In summer last year ministers expressed their ‘deep shame’ at how rape victims were being failed, and pledged to restore rape charges to at least the level seen in 2016, when it stood at seven per cent.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: ‘These figures show we are making progress in improving the response to the appalling crime of rape.
‘Charging decisions by the CPS are being made 29 days quicker than the last quarter, and 27 per cent more cases are going to court compared to last year.
‘But we are restless to go further, which is why we are recruiting more sexual violence advisors, improving collaboration between police and prosecutors, and quadrupling funding for support services so that victims get the justice they deserve.’
Source: Read Full Article