Bath MP tables bill to tackle low rape conviction rates

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Mar 09, 2022 2:03

In support of International Women’s day, Wera Hobhouse MP has put forward a Private Members Bill on Rape Convictions. The Bill would establish an independent review of rape conviction rates and require the Secretary of State to act on the recomendations of the review.

Last year, a review found that over 50,000 women reported being raped in 2020 but just 1,400 rapists were convicted. Recent findings suggest that rape conviction rates are at 1%. The review would address this. Shockingly, CPS 2021 Quarter 4 research found that “the volume of defendants charged has fallen slightly compared to the last four quarters, and stands 6.6% lower than in 2019/20.”

Claire Waxman’s report found that nearly two-thirds of rape victims in London ended up withdrawing their complaints within a month of going to the police. This was mainly due to the poor conviction rate but also a lack of effective support for victims. 

Mrs Hobhouse has slammed the Government for not taking violence against women and girls seriously, citing their refusal to make misogyny a hate crime as turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred. 

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Women and Equalities, Wera Hobhouse said: 

“The justice system is failing women and girls. The rape review lays bare how badly the criminal justice system is failing rape victims. Over 50,000 women reported being raped last year, yet only 1,400 rapists were convicted. 

“It takes huge strength and bravery to report a crime like rape and this failure simply breaks trust in the system and discourages victims from going to the police. Police and the justice system must protect survivors and support their cases. They can achieve this through better training and resources for the police, allowing survivors to be listened to, supported, and ensuring that criminals are punished.

“We need an independent review of rape conviction rates and a review into the effect on victims, with the Government forced to act on the reviews requirements.” 

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