Rape Monitoring Group digests now provide a more complete picture of how rapes are dealt with across England and Wales
HMIC, on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group (RMG), has today published 42 local digests showing how cases of rape are dealt with at all stages of the criminal justice process.
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Bringing together for the first time published data from the Home Office, Office for National Statistics, Crown Prosecution Service and Ministry of Justice, each digest presents local information on:
- the number of reports of rape to the police, and the subsequent investigations;
- the referral of cases to the Crown Prosecution Service for charging decisions and prosecutions; and
- trial outcomes.
The RMG is providing this information so that police forces, police and crime commissioners, prosecutors and all organisations involved in the criminal justice system have equal access to the data that will allow them to analyse and scrutinise how rape is dealt with in their local area, so that further improvements to the service provided to victims can be made.
However, it is important to highlight the caveats around the data contained in these digests, which are collected by different organisations, in different ways, and (in some respects) for different time periods. It is acknowledged that it is therefore not possible to track the progress of individual cases of rape through the criminal justice system.
While this can limit the usefulness of these digests, the Rape Monitoring Group and its members are committed to identifying ways to improve data collection. This will ensure the data follow the journey of victims of rape through the criminal justice system, so as to offer the best chance of identifying if there are systemic problems within the process.
Chair of the Rape Monitoring Group, Dru Sharpling said:
“The Rape Monitoring Group’s intention in compiling these digests is to prompt scrutiny of how each local area deals with rape. Accurate and extensive data enable those working with rape cases to improve opportunities to identify and bring to justice perpetrators of rape, and to ensure that victims are effectively supported and defendants receive a fair trial.
“However, because the data contained within the digests are collected by different organisations, it is impossible to track the progress of individual cases of rape through the criminal justice system.
“The Rape Monitoring Group is committed to working with criminal justice agencies to collect data on rape that puts the progress of the case at the heart of the process in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, as well as servicing the sometimes separate needs of its disparate parts.
“In the absence of a more comprehensive means of understanding the responses to rape offending, these digests provide a good starting point.”
- This year’s digest includes significantly more data than in the previous year.
- The available data covers 2009/10 to 2013/14, although some data covers different periods within that timeframe.
- Data are collected from Home Office/Office for National Statistics (police-recorded data), the Crown Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice.
- The data sets reflect the most up to date figures that have been released into the public domain and will not reflect any more recent trends across the criminal justice agencies.
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- The RMG aims to identify issues, and support and challenge progress across the criminal justice system in implementing work to improve the response to rape. The RMG aims to professionalise the response to rape victims, spread good practice and increasing public confidence in responding to rape to ensure victims get a better service.
- The RMG comprises representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers, College of Policing, Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, Home Office, local policing bodies, Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Ministry of Justice and voluntary sector partners. HM Inspector of Constabulary, Dru Sharpling, chairs the group.
- For further information, HMIC’s press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:30pm, Monday – Friday on 0203 513 0600.
- HMIC’s out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217 729