Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Specialist Prosecutors to Help Rape Victims

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Specialist Prosecutors to Help Rape Victims

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK HENNESSY

A MAJOR overhaul of the way rape cases are investigated and brought to court - including plans for a new network of specialist rape prosecutors - was announced today by ministers.

Solicitor General Harriet Harman said that urgent action was needed to address a problem which sees fewer than one in 12 reported rape cases end in a conviction.

She told MPs in the Commons: "We must do better - and I'm sure we can. We must be sure that women can have justice and that the criminal justice system takes rape seriously and prosecutes it effectively.

"Offenders and potential offenders must know they cannot get away with it."

The key reform will be for all rape allegations to be reviewed by a specialist prosecutor who has been trained to handle sex offences. Such a move has been pioneered successfully in New York where it has led to a huge increase in convictions.

Government sources said that there would be at least one specialist rape prosecutor in each of the 42 Crown Prosecution Service areas in Britain. …

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