Only three per cent of London rape cases lead to conviction

28 per cent of allegations relate to domestic abuse

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

London’s Victims’ Commissioner has said “accessing justice is near impossible” after a review showed just three per cent of allegations in the city result in conviction.

Clare Waxman has called for long-term government investment and fully-funded legal support for rape victims to ensure they are accessing fair trials.

Speaking to talkRADIO's Matthew Wright, Ms Waxman said cuts to policing, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and victim support services created "the perfect storm" that means victims "are really struggling to access justice."

It comes after new figures were released in the London Rape Review, which looked at 501 rape allegations made in the capital in April 2016.

The report found that six per cent of accusations made it to trial, three per cent ended in a conviction while 58 per cent of victims withdrew their allegation.

The campaigner for survivor support, who has been a stalking victim herself, has urged the Metropolitan Police and CPS to undertake trauma training to "drastically improve the treatment that rape victims receive".

She told talkRADIO the current system "exacerbates the victim's trauma."

"I think the whole criminal justice system really misunderstands trauma and the impact that it has on the memory, that’s why you get the inconsistency in accounts, on the behaviour and their reactions."

She continued that another of her recommendations was to “give direction to jurors as well, not just about covering rape myths and misconceptions but also about understanding that neurobiological impact of trauma on memory.”

The report also showed that only seven per cent of alleged attacks were committed by strangers, compared to the almost 60 per cent that took place in a private or domestic setting - 28 per cent of allegations related to domestic abuse.

Ms Waxman said the study showed “the stark reality is that all too often rape happens in the home, committed by someone known to the victim".

The average length of time from the date of reporting to the trial outcome was 18 months.

Read more

‘Opportunist’ internet groomer found guilty of sex offences

Police acted 'unlawfully' in Carl Beech case, says former judge