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More rape convictions in Humberside

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12:01am 16th December 2011

As the CPS in Humberside becomes one of the most successful areas in prosecuting rape, the head of the service says "it's not time to rest on our laurels".

69.1% (56) of rape prosecutions in Humberside lead to a conviction in comparison to a national average of 61.5% (2460); a 9.7% improvement on last year.

Whilst pleased with the success of the area, Chief Crown Prosecutor Martin Goldman says there is still room for improvement, so he has introduced a new system which will see unsuccessful rape cases scrutinised by a team of experts.

The Rape Scrutiny Panel comprises representatives from eight Yorkshire-based rape support organisations.

CCP Martin Goldman said:
"The panel members are tasked with identifying any common themes, trends or issues which may be leading to unsuccessful outcomes.

"It's essential that we learn lessons from our own actions but it can be difficult to objectively scrutinise your own work so I have called upon local specialists in this field to come together and give us an honest appraisal.

"Every six months the panel will look through the files of a number of rape cases which were either dropped or resulted in an acquittal.

"If we are to do this well we need to be completely open and honest and we need the same in return.

"I've met with the panel members and asked them to tell us exactly what they think. They will select the files that they would like to see and will have full access to our performance data and details of any decisions we have made on a rape case.

"Their feedback will be used to inform our policies, strategies and training to ensure we continue to improve the service we offer to local people in ensuring their safety and securing justice

"By improving this aspect of our work, we hope to improve victim's confidence that they will be taken seriously and that the strongest possible case will be built and placed before the courts.

"This is similar to the way we improved our work around hate crime. We introduced a scrutiny panel which met regularly and made recommendations. The panel identified improvements which could be made in our communications with victims and witnesses. We've now changed our approach in line with those recommendations."

The panel is keen to attract more support from rape services in Humberside. If you work with victims of rape and would like to get involved please contact the CPS on 0113 290 2700 or email lizzy.mills@cps.gsi.gov.uk

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