Sexual Crime Victims Continually Let Down- Green Party NI

Latest official figures on sexual offences in Northern Ireland show victims are being continually let down, the Green Party has claimed.

Calls for improved outcomes for victims have emerged after the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) revealed that the conviction rate for the offence of rape stands at 29.9%.

Just 40% of all sexual offence suspects were recommended for prosecution in 2019, while the conviction rate for those that did proceed to trial was at 64.1%.

Green Party MLA Rachel Woods said the figures are evidence that Northern Ireland's criminal justice system is failing victims, particularly those who report rape.

The Justice Committee member said: "The 40% prosecution rate for suspects of rape is particularly galling. It means that six out of every ten people who summon the courage to report a rape will never see a suspect charged with the crime visited upon them.

"It represents a wider threat to our society and we know that the prevalence of sexual crime is greater still, with many crimes going unreported and offenders facing no intervention whatsoever."

While the PPS and other criminal justice partners have made recent efforts to improve outcomes for victims, the pace of change is too slow for victims of sexual offences and society as a whole, according to the Green Party MLA.

"It's clear that the Gillen Review Recommendations must be implemented as an urgent priority. To date, only 11% of Gillen Review recommendation have been implemented. The Justice Minister must work to expediate all of the Gillen Recommendations as a departmental priority.

"Otherwise, victims of sexual offences will continue to be retraumatised and let down by the very system tasked with delivering justice on their behalf and protecting society as a whole."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 August 2022
New Funding Available To Help Prevent Crime
Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced the launch of a new application period for funding aimed at preventing crime. The fund is available for voluntary and community sector organisations, registered charities, and statutory bodies delivering projects in community settings in Northern Ireland.
04 August 2022
Man Arrested And Puppies Seized In Organised Crime Investigation
A 44-year-old man has been arrested and seized 57 puppies, three adult dogs and one cat at Belfast Harbour Estate in an operation investigating organised crime.
03 August 2022
Vigilance Needed To Tackle Rural Crime – DUP
The DUP has called for vigilance to tackle rural crime, following the release of the NFUs Rural Crime Report 2022. The report showed a fall of over 33% in the number of incidents over the last 12 months in Northern Ireland, but that the rural crime in Northern Ireland in 2021 was valued at £1.7m.
25 July 2022
Greens Raise Concerns Over New Drug Possession Paper
A UK Government White Paper on drug possession includes "authoritarian rhetoric and provisions", Green Party Rep, Lesley Veronica, has said. Commenting on the White Paper – 'Swift, Certain, Tough.
08 November 2021
Man Sentenced To 16 Years For A Number Of Historical Sexual Abuse Offences
A 48-year-old has been sentenced to 16 years for a number of historical sexual abuse offences against a child, at Laganside Court. Tommy Harris will serve eight years in jail and eight years on licence. He will also be place on the sex offenders register for life. Harris's conviction comes after his victim waived her anonymity to speak out.