Police chiefs accuse CPS chief Max Hill of ‘denying justice’ to victims over fall in rape and domestic abuse charges
Police chiefs accused the country’s top prosecutor of ‘denying justice’ to victims in a bitter row over the shocking fall in rape and domestic abuse charges, Die Mail on Sunday kan onthul.
The extraordinary attack emerged after minutes of a meeting between Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC and the country’s leading chief constables were published.
Although the number of reported sexual offences hit an all-time high of 183,587 in the year to December, the rate of rape cases being solved has dropped to 1.3 persent in die 12 months to September last year, af van 8.5 persent in 2014/15.
Police chiefs accused Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC (op die foto) of ‘denying justice’ to victims in a bitter row over the shocking fall in rape and domestic abuse charges
Domestic abuse cases reported also rocketed to a record level of 895,782 in the same period, while the latest figures show a drop in charges from 11 aan 7.9 persent tussen 2019 en 2021.
In edited minutes from the National Police Chiefs’ Council meeting, which took place in September, Mr Hill criticised forces for referring fewer abuse cases to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) every year since 2014.
Mr Hill claimed that some senior officers ‘within the room’ were focused on ‘quantity rather than quality’ when it came to charging abuse and sex attackers and suggested police chiefs and the CPS should ‘stand together to influence the expectations of ministers’ and ‘manage’ the Government’s aims on charging sex attackers.
But furious police chiefs accused Mr Hill and the CPS as a whole of failing victims due to lengthy delays in responding to officers.
Mr Hill criticised forces for referring fewer abuse cases to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) every year since 2014. kan verveeld of gefrustreerd wees – ander sleutelfaktore in algehele geestesgesondheid
Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House, the current acting head of the Metropolitan Police, said he had received a ‘deluge’ of comments from officers who were attempting to contact CPS colleagues but are often told they would have to wait 28 dae.
He reportedly said the delays were ‘effectively denying justice to a large number of victims’ and warned that the number of cases put to the CPS were dropping due to ‘learned behaviour’.
Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Louise Rolfe claimed lower level collaboration with the CPS was a ‘concern’, while Gwent Police Chief Constable Pam Kelly warned that CPS delays meant ‘victims are not seeing justice and we are losing victims along the way’.
Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird (op die foto) said the NPCC minutes showed a ‘timid culture’ at the CPS
Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird, who has previously accused Mr Hill of presiding over a ‘catastrophic’ period for charging rape suspects, said the NPCC minutes showed a ‘timid culture’ at the CPS.
She told the The Mail on Sunday: ‘At the root of the collapse in rape prosecutions has been an institutional reluctance on the part of the CPS to take on more challenging cases and tackle rape myths and stereotypes in the courts.
‘In what the director of public prosecutions terms “a decision between quality and quantity”, thousands of victims are being denied justice as only rock-solid cases are pursued.’
Sy het bygevoeg: ‘We need agencies to come together tackle the collapse in rape prosecutions and sustain prosecutions for domestic abuse. What matters is getting rapists off the streets and making domestic abuse victims safe in their own homes.’
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘It is encouraging that more victims of sexual violence are coming forward. We have been clear that police and the Crown Prosecution Service must raise the bar in handling such cases, so victims know they will be taken seriously and the criminals responsible are put behind bars.’
In a joint statement from the CPS and NPCC, the agencies said they were ‘determined to drive up the number of rape and domestic abuse cases going to court’ and are improving ‘every aspect’ of how the crimes are dealt with.
Hulle het bygevoeg: ‘It is important that senior leaders in the Police and CPS have challenging conversations but this doesn’t diminish our positive working relationship and joint commitment to improvement.’