Dame Vera Baird, the victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, said the state’s first duty was to protect its citizens which was why it was “all the more worrying that the most intimate and damaging crimes have the biggest drop in prosecutions. That is why these statistics are so shocking.”
She added: “Men who rape are likely to carry on unless they are stopped. So confidence to support a prosecution is vital for public safety.”
Rebecca Hitchens, of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said claims that the fall in charging rates was due to an increase in women reporting rape and difficultites in disclosure was “unacceptable.”
‘“There is a raft of issues at stake here – not limited to abandonment of bail conditions, absence of specialist support and disbanding specialist police teams,” she said.
Prosecution of theft offences has also collapsed further with theft from a person dropping to just over a one in 100 chance of it being solved at 1.1 per cent. This is down from 1.7 per cent. It means that just 1,178 of the 103,335 alleged thefts from a person resulted in a charge or summons.
Theft from a vehicle was 1.3 per cent, down from 1.8 per cent, which means just 3,618 such offences out of a total of 279,975 last year resulted in a charge or summons.