Specialist courts should be set up to clear backlog, watchdog says

Specialist courts should be set up to clear huge backlog of rape cases, watchdog demands

  • Watchdogs said specialist rape courts should be put in place to tackle backlog 
  • This comes following a shocking report which exposed victims’ ordeals 
  • Some interviewed said appearing in court was more traumatic than the rape
  • Specialist rape courts should be established to tackle a backlog in cases, official watchdogs have said, as a shocking report exposed how victims are denied justice.

    Some of those interviewed for a major inquiry said appearing in court was more traumatic than the rape itself.

    Inspectors who oversee police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) described their findings as ‘disturbing and profoundly upsetting’.

    Specialist rape courts should be established to tackle a backlog in cases, official watchdogs have said, as a shocking report exposed how victims are denied justice

    Specialist rape courts should be established to tackle a backlog in cases, official watchdogs have said, as a shocking report exposed how victims are denied justice

    Justice Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured) said: 'This is a sobering and considered analysis'

    Justice Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured) said: ‘This is a sobering and considered analysis’

    They said the Ministry of Justice should set up the specialist courts – potentially in temporary Nightingale courts set up in the pandemic – to clear cases and help improve procedures.

    There were 52,207 rapes reported to police in England and Wales in the 12 months to March last year, but only 3,144 charges and 1,109 convictions.

    Andrew Cayley, chief inspector of the CPS, said: ‘Frankly, we should all feel ashamed at those very stark figures.’

    Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: ‘This is a sobering and considered analysis.

    ‘We accept the findings, and will look at how best to address them in the most rigorous and effective way possible.’