Rape is a cruel and degrading crime, and victims are entitled to have their cases thoroughly investigated and properly prosecuted. The role of the Crown Prosecution Service is crucial in meeting these entitlements. Whenever we fall short we have a duty to review our conduct and make necessary changes to ensure we improve in future.Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Sounds like he’s finally got the message that…
In one we made a serious mistake in offering no evidence at a retrial. I publicly apologised to the victim. In another, a woman was prosecuted for perverting the course of justice after making a rape allegation, retracting it and then withdrawing that retraction. In both cases the CPS was criticised, and the Guardian raised legitimate questions about the way we handled them.Because if the ‘Guardian’ doesn’t criticise it, coming as it does from impeccable left-wing sources, it isn’t worth worrying about, right?
You’ll take no notice of any other criticism coming your way, about the rise in false rape reports and the effect on the accused men of the routine arrest on even the flimsiest accounts.
I believe the CPS should be measured by how it responds to justifiable criticism.Ah. Right. I see now.
Any other criticism you get you’ll just classify as ‘unjustified’, and then you are free to ignore it!
Prosecuting rape is very challenging: public expectations are high, sometimes unrealistic; cases often turn on the word of an individual; and rape often occurs in private with the victim the only witness.Which is precisely why the conviction rate is so low, particularly in comparison to other crimes. It isn’t like other crimes.
Usually the victim has to give evidence in court to establish the basis for a prosecution.‘Usually’..?!?
So what are we going to do? As prosecutors we need to reinforce the so-called 'merits-based approach to rape cases. They should be judged entirely on the merits of the evidence…Oh oh.
… myths and stereotypes have no place in a criminal justice system underpinned by basic human rights. We can and should challenge them wherever we encounter them, whether that is during an investigation, among our fellow professionals or in court.Good! Start with the ‘women never lie about rape!’ myth, will you?
No. Of course you won’t:
We must measure our performance more closely too: I have recently introduced core quality standards throughout the CPS setting out the level of service that the public are entitled to expect from prosecutors.What wonderful managerial bullshit and waffle! Anyone have an English translation?
And from January we are introducing a new quality assurance scheme for offences involving violence against women.Fantastic! More targets, more pressure on prosecutors to get a result, regardless of whether it’s the right one!
Because, blimey, that never lead to problems in the police force, did it?
We also need to work on our approach in retraction cases. From now, my approval for charging will be needed in these cases, and we will monitor them closely. If the complainant has decided to withdraw an allegation, we must explore the issues behind that, particularly if the complainant is under pressure or frightened.Or a known, proven liar?
Those who are raped must be confident that their case will be thoroughly investigated and properly prosecuted. Those who rape should know of our resolve to ensure that justice is done.And those who are falsely accused of rape should just shut up and accept they are the casualties in your ideological war?
What was the point of getting shot of lunatics like Harman and Baird, when Starmer sits there still, waging their war on half the population?
As Mark Wadsworth points out on email, 'the CPS prosecuted 110 of these cases (retractions) this year and got a conviction in 61 cases' which I think is a substantially better result than in ACTUAL rape cases, is it not?
And that doesn't even begin to touch the numbers of false rape claims, because I only tend to get the ones reported in the MSM. How many are quietly shelved by the CPS when they realise they are on to a loser?
Starmer is right, the whole issue of rape needs looking at, but I somehow sense he isn't the man for the job...