Sunday 16 June 2019 / 8:02 AM Justice / Shami Chakrabarti

Shocking 140% increase in the time taken to charge on rape cases under the Conservatives

New information disclosed by the Attorney General’s office shows a shocking increase of over 140% in the time taken to charge suspects in rape cases. In an answer to a written Parliamentary question from Labour, the government revealed that the average number of days until a charge is made has risen from 32 in 2010-2011 to 78 days in 2017-2018.

Gloria De Piero MP, Shadow Justice Minister, raised the question in Parliament which has now received a written response from the Attorney General’s office.

Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, said:

“This system failure is a shameful treatment of survivors’ human rights. Women’s groups are now having to crowd fund legal action to hold the CPS to account on the way rape cases are handled.

“Of course decisions should be considered carefully by the CPS, but such a long wait for a decision to charge reveals an entire system paralysed by self-doubt. This is bad news for complainants and defendants, and for the quality of justice.

“And with these extended wait times exposed, the need for an urgent government review of the ban on pre-trial therapy is even more pressing.

“We welcome that there is an official review into the prosecution of rape cases taking place. But we need assurance that it will be totally transparent. We simply must do better by survivors.”

Gloria De Piero MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister, said:

“Survivors of rape desperately need support and deserve immediate access to justice.

“Yet under this government they are being forced to wait over twice as long for these very basic rights. This is just further evidence that the welfare of vulnerable victims is no more than an afterthought for the Tories.”