06/11/2020

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.
News Image
"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."



(JG)

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

26 November 2020
Collaborative Effort Needed To Stop Crime Gangs Exploiting Communities - Long
Following a recent discovery the illegal drugs had been hidden in a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Justice Minister Naomi Long has called for a collaborative effort to "stop crime groups exploiting our community". According to the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF), operations between 2019/2020 included: recovered approximately £2.
26 November 2020
UHRW Calls For Public Inquiry Into La Mon Bombing
The Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) has called for a Public Inquiry into the La Mon terrorist atrocity which killed 12 people and injured 23 more on 17 February 1978. In 2014, the then Secretary of State rejected calls for a Public Inquiry on grounds of insufficient evidence.
09 February 2011
Afghanistan Veteran On Rape Charge
A bomb-blasted former soldier has appeared in court in Belfast charged with rape and false imprisonment. Gerald Verner, 23, of Forthriver Park, who was deafened by a bomb in Afghanistan, is also accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm, sexual assault and threats to kill against the same woman.
31 March 2010
Irish Sex Crime Unit On Way
The Irish Republic's police force is to establish a specialist unit to deal with the management of sexual offences.
20 December 2013
Man Sentenced Over Sexual Assaults
A man has been sentenced at Newry Crown Court to 14 years in prison for a series of sexual assaults in the Newry and Warrenpoint areas in 2002 and 2006.