Responding to Violence against Women and Girls crimes (VAWG) Report released today by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), APCC Victims Leads Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime & Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said:
“Today’s figures are a huge cause for concern. As Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) we are alarmed that whilst reports of rape are rising, there has been a significant drop in prosecutions and convictions for crimes such as domestic abuse, rape, and sexual offences.
“Victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences show immense courage in reporting this heinous crime, yet at present the criminal justice system is letting them down. It is critical that victims have confidence that when they report a crime, they will be supported by a robust response. Currently on too many occasions this is not happening, and we cannot allow this to continue.
“PCCs champion the needs of victims in their local communities, commissioning services to help them to cope and recover after crime. We need all criminal justice agencies to come together to improve the criminal justice system for some of its most vulnerable users, encouraging more victims to come forward seeking justice and having their voices heard.
“Whilst we recognise, and welcome, the range of actions being taken to try improve matters, including the current cross government review into how the CJS deals with serious sexual offences, the figures are another wake-up call that we need to do more to protect the rights of victims of sexual offences through the judicial process.
“We will be writing to the Secretary of State for Justice to urge him to urgently consider what more can be done to ensure that all criminal justice agencies come together to make the system more effective so that all victims of these devastating crimes are protected and supported through every stage of the judicial process.”