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More charges leading to convictions

Three quarters of charges for violence against women and girls resulted in a conviction this year, prosecutors have revealed.

The vast majority of crimes grouped under violence against women and girls by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are domestic violence - at 86% - with rape at around 4.5% and sexual offences, excluding rape, at 9.5%.

The proportion of successful prosecutions rose to 74.1% in 2012/2013, the CPS said, its highest conviction rate for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Some 82,165 defendants were prosecuted for violence against women offences in the period, which was a 10% fall compared with the previous year, however, the CPS recorded a fall in volume across all CPS cases.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said: "The evidence is clear that 10 years of progress is paying off and not only are the conviction rates steadily increasing, but our service to victims is also improving. These results send a powerful message to perpetrators that they are more likely than ever to be convicted for their crimes.

"Our focus over the last few years has been honed to understand the vulnerability and intimidation of victims, and the fact that we continue to see fewer cases fail because victims no longer support the prosecution indicates they have growing confidence in what we do.

"Similarly, the considerable rise in the proportion of rape cases that we charge indicates that we are building stronger cases which lead to more guilty pleas - which not only saves the court time and resources, but more importantly, spares the victim the need to relive their experience in court."

The CPS also revealed its highest ever rape and domestic violence conviction rates, with 63.2% of rape prosecutions and 74.3% of domestic violence prosecutions resulting in successful outcomes in the period..

Of rape cases referred to the CPS by police, the proportion which are charged increased from42.1% to 47.2% in 2012-13, the CPS added.

In addition, forced marriage cases resulted in 90.6% convictions, up from just 54.8% in the previous year.


From Belfast Telegraph