Police noted 56,152 alleged rapes in the year to September but analysis showed just 1.5 per cent of reported cases produced a charge. For all sex offences, the ratio was 3.6 per cent. Shameful Survivors want a transformation in the response to abuse claims, said an MPs’ report, with two fifths claiming they were not taken seriously. Dame Vera Baird QC, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, said: “If you are raped in Britain today, your chances of seeing justice are slim.
“We have seen a catastrophic fall in rape prosecutions. Just 1.5 per cent of cases result in a charge. More than 98 per cent of cases do not reach court.
“This is shameful. Rape is often a serial offence and rapists carry on until they are stopped.”
She said the Crown Prosecution Service “failed to offer any convincing explanation” for the fall in cases.
Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis, said: “Our system is failing those who’ve been subjected to some of the most traumatic crimes it is possible to survive. The situation must be treated as an urgent priority.”
The Crown Prosecution Service denies making major changes over charging rape suspects.
The sex crime details were among figures issued by Whitehall. They also showed domestic abuse rose by 10 per cent in the year to September with 842,813 cases.
Young knife crime will erupt
Youngsters unleashed after lockdown will be vulnerable to gangs – and likely to send knife crime soaring, an expert says.
Barnardo’s chief Javed Khan says they are especially ripe for grooming by criminals because they “are finding it hard to believe in a positive future”.
The warning comes as the Office for National Statistics revealed knife crime fell by 22 per cent during the first lockdown. Between April and June, police recorded 9,669 offences, compared with 12,414 between January and March. But in July, August and September, it rose 25 per cent.
Mr Khan said that gave “an idea of what might erupt once restrictions are lifted”.
He fears children have been “out of school and away from support networks, leaving many vulnerable to exploitation and control by criminal gangs who have seized on the disruption”. Meanwhile, prison inspectors found only 55 per cent of youngsters in custody leave feeling they are less likely to offend again.
Some 44 per cent said they had been bullied by other children and 35 per cent felt unsafe at some point.
Chief inspector Charlie Taylor said it showed “the grim reality of life in custody”. Violence and self-harm in Young Offender Institutions was found to be “at or near an all-time high”.
Victims of crime ‘giving up on justice’
One in four police investigations were shelved last year because the victim did not support action, figures revealed yesterday.
The number has almost trebled since March 2015.
Huge delays in inquiries and the length of time it takes for criminals to appear in court mean many who have suffered are giving up on any hope of justice.
Home Office figures also show the number of crimes in England and Wales resulting in a charge or summons was 7.3 per cent in the year to September 2020.
Rachel Almeida, of Victim Support, said delays caused by Covid restrictions – including the logjam in trials – meant “many victims are living with the impact of crime for longer and unable to move on”.
Watchdogs have warned the pandemic is posing a “critical” risk to the justice system, with courts strained to breaking point.
A report by police, prisons, probation and CPS has now called for “urgent and significant” action from the Government to tackle a mounting backlog.