Thank your contacting me about rape convictions.
I absolutely share your concerns regarding the decline in the number of rape and serious sexual offences being charged and prosecuted in England and Wales.
It may reassure you that the Government shares this concern and is carrying out an End-to-End Review of how the Criminal Justice System responds to rape. This is extremely welcome and I do believe this comprehensive approach reflects the clear determination of Ministers to leave no stone unturned in finding out why conviction rates are so low.
I welcome the fact that the Ministry of Justice is working with operational partners from across the Criminal Justice System including the police, CPS and victims' groups. This will ensure that the Government can improve the way rape cases are dealt with.
The review will assess evidence of issues in the Criminal Justice System’s response to rape cases and formulate recommendations to address the challenges identified across the system. I also understand that the review will include considering the role of support services in victims’ engagement throughout the criminal justice system.
I am sure you will agree that there should be no delay in the work of this review. I welcome the fact that the Ministry of Justice has said that the Government intends to publish the findings and actions of the End-to-End Review in the Spring.
The Ministry of Justice has committed £32 million over three years from 2019 to 2022 to rape support centres across England and Wales to provide emotional and practical support to victims, which may include counselling and therapy.
I look forward to reading the findings and actions of the review very carefully when they are published.
Thank you again for contacting me.
Craig Whittaker MP