Improving rape outcomes for victims


An innovative new approach to investigating rape and other serious sexual offences is being rolled out across all forces following successful pilots. 

Known as Operation Soteria and piloted in 19 police forces and 9 Crown Prosecution Areas already, the programme brings together police forces with academics, using evidence and new insight to enable forces and prosecutors to transform their response to rape and serious sexual offences.

The Home Office also announced investment to train 2,000 extra police investigators specifically trained in sexual offences training by 2024.

In response to the announcement, APCC Joint Victims' Leads’ Caroline Henry and Sophie Linden, said: “The roll out of this national operating model is a positive step towards improving outcomes for victims of rape. Rape is one of the most complex crimes to investigate and it is vital we have a system that is fit for purpose with the needs of victims at the very core. Operation Soteria has been an innovative approach to identifying and solving issues in the investigative process.

“We are pleased to see the commitment from government to funding Independent Sexual Violence Advisor’s as these are a critical service for advocating for victims in the criminal justice system. Funding to expand the service is a great step in the right direction however it is redundant if there are blockages in the court which prevents the productivity of roll out.

“We will continue to work with our national partners and HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) to reduce court backlogs, ensure victims are supported throughout and mitigate harm from adjournments.”


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