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A reminder why politics matters

December 17, 2019 1:36 PM

After a disappointing election result it is tempting to turn your back on political argument. To find something else to worry about. Why it is important to `continue to fight for priorities that matter to you was well illustrated this morning by a report from HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) Full report is here https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmcpsi/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/12/Rape-inspection-2019-1.pdf

The review followed alarm over the rapid rise of rape allegations coinciding with a dramatic fall in cases being taken to trial. "If 58,657 allegations of rape were made in the year ending March 2019 but only 1,925 successful prosecutions for the offence followed," the inspectorate commented, "something must be wrong."

The detailed study did not identify a single cause but pointed to a complex of problems. Its clearest conclusion - that police and prosecutors have been deprived of funding - emerged as Boris Johnson's new administration pledges to recruit more police officers. Amongst its other conclusions were

*"Police and CPS have seen significant reductions in their resources," the report stated.*"[The criminal justice system] has been under-resourced so that it is close to breaking point. In the case of the police, it may have gone beyond that, and the number of rape allegations lost in the investigative process is damning."

*Requests for forensic examination of phones, for example, are taking up to 11 months to complete.

*The report also found that lawyers in the CPS's Rape and Serious Sexual Offences units were overstretched. Almost 40% of participating CPS lawyers said their caseload was "heavy and unmanageable

Lets remember these shortcomings are the result of policy decisions on resource allocation. It may not have intended the dramatic increase in failures to prosecute but its decisions have led to this unacceptable outcome