Rape prosecutions ‘have fallen’ due to ‘myths and stereotypes’ about accusers, Victims’ Commissioner warns

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PROSECUTORS may not be charging alleged rapists because of “myths and stereotypes” about their accusers, the Victims’ Commissioner has warned.

Dame Vera Baird said the numbers of reported attacks are “shooting up” but prosecutions have “dropped off a cliff”.

Dame Vera Baird accused the CPS of taking a ‘bookies approach’ to rape cases
Getty – Contributor

She fears the CPS is taking a “bookie’s approach” and basing decisions on going to court on whether they think a jury would convict.

Dame Vera gave the example of prosecutors second guessing a case where an accuser wore a short skirt at the time of the reported offence.

She added there was no explanation why there had been a 173 per cent increase in the number of rapes reported — but a 20 per cent fall in convictions.


She told Radio 4’s Today show: “The worry is the CPS are not looking at the merits of each individual case and saying, we will see them [myths] as something we need to overcome, not a barrier.”

But Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill said: “We see whether there is sufficient ­evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

That is not saying, ‘We don’t think the jury will like this one’.”

She claimed UK prosecutors are basing their decisions on ‘myths and stereotypes’ about the accusers
PA:Press Association

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