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Rape charges in the West Midlands falling despite increase in reports

According to the latest figures from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the number of people being charged with rape in the West Midlands is falling, despite more crimes being reported to the Police.

The figures released have revealed that 146 people in the region were charged with rape during 2017/18 a figure down 31 per cent from 211 people the year before.

That drop comes despite the fact that the number of rapes being reported to the police is on the rise, increasing from 1,745 in 2016/17 to 2,470 in the last year.

Despite all of this, the number of cases referred to the CPS by West Midlands Police stayed largely the same with 341 cases put forward this year, compared to 343 the year before.

The situation in the region reflects the story nationwide, with this year resulting in the lowest number of record of people being charged with rape.

Again those numbers come despite an increase in the number of rapes being reported to police from 41,313 to 53,977.

The figures have resulted in calls from the End Violence against Women coalition for an independent review into the justice system.

Sarah Green, co-director of the End Violence against Women coalition, said: “This is a collapse in rape justice and we need to know why this has happened and what those in charge of the justice system are going to do about it.

“We now need the Justice Secretary and the Attorney General to commission an independent review of exactly what changed in CPS policy and practice over the last 18 months and how we can improve outcomes for victims of rape.”

Some 60% of all rape cases in the West Midlands that went to court in 2017/18 resulted in the defendant being convicted – up from 53% in 2016/17.

The rape figures are just one part of a CPS report on violence against women and girls – looking at crimes ranging from sexual offences and domestic abuse to child abuse and human trafficking.

Some 20% of all criminal charges made last year were for violence against women and girls the highest proportion on record.

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Gurjit Singh
As a member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS), holder of the Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) qualification and duty solicitor for the Coventry area, I regularly represent clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including road traffic offences.

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