Report criticises rape prosecutions

Police and prosecutors should be doing more to build stronger cases in order to boost the conviction rate for rape, a report has said.

The report, conducted by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, said that police wrongly recorded rape allegations as "no crimes" in nearly a third of cases, when claims should have been investigated further.

The report warned that new procedures, introduced in order to boost the small conviction rate, were being ignored.

Only around 5% of reported rapes result in a conviction.

The report raised concerns about a number of issues, including inconsistency in the way that victims were examined by forensic doctors, claims of consent and over-estimation of false allegations.

It also criticised a lack of training for officers in how to deal with victims and the huge variation in detection rates between different police forces.

The report also suggested that police and prosecutors should make better use of evidence showing a defendant's "bad character".


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