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Government will take 18 years to reach rape prosecutions target, data shows

rape prosecutions

Government will take 18 years to reach rape prosecutions target, data shows

It will take nearly two decades for the government to reach its own target for turning around the collapse in rape prosecutions in England and Wales at the current pace of change, according to analysis.

In June the government promised to halt a collapse in the number of rapists being brought to justice, and vowed to return the number of charges and prosecutions to 2016 levels before the end of this parliament.

But new quarterly Crown Prosecution Service data shows that in the last 12 months just 41 extra suspects were charged compared with the year before. In 2015-16 the CPS charged 3,910 suspects with rape, but in the year ending June 2021, 1,972 charges were made.

Guardian analysis, based on the number of charges brought in the past 11 quarters modelled on to future quarters, shows it would take 18 years at the current pace to get back to that figure.

Dame Vera Baird, the victims’ commissioner for England and Wales, said it was “hard to see even the green shoots of a recovery”. She added: “Presently, the government’s stated ambition feels more like a pipe dream and victims will continue to be failed unless the CPS rapidly and urgently ups the ante.”

It comes as pressure mounts on the government to take decisive action to tackle violence against women and girls, after the murders of Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman and Sarah Everard and the death of Sabina Nessa, and a 70% fall in rape prosecutions since 2016-17.

Campaigners said the government’s target increasingly looked “wholly unrealistic” and called for urgent action. Last month the prime minister, Boris Johnson, said he could not guarantee that targets to improve rape prosecution and conviction rates set out in the government’s rape review would be met.

“The figures are incredibly worrying, because despite promises of improvements in prosecution volumes that would take us closer to 2016 levels, we’re instead seeing that the criminal justice system still fails women,” said Andrea Simon, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition. “These figures must be a wake up to government, the CPS and police forces that we need urgent change in the justice system response to violence against women.”

The figures, covering the three-month period from 1 April to 30 June 2021, also show rape complainants continue to face long – and increasing – waits for cases to come to trial. The average time from when police refer a case to the CPS to a charge has increased from 155.1 days in January to March 2021 to 170.2 days in April to June – four times as long as the average across all crimes.

“For victims and survivors to wait for so long just to hear whether their perpetrator will be charged is extremely difficult and will have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing and their ability to engage with the criminal justice process,” said Jayne Butler, the chief executive of Rape Crisis. “The timescales for rape cases will discourage victims and survivors from seeking justice: this must change.”

The number of prosecutions and convictions increased in the last quarter, as recovery from the pandemic continues. There were 601 completed prosecutions in the last quarter, almost double the number of the preceding quarter. Convictions increased from 223 to 398 in the same period.

Campaigners also warned that victims of domestic abuse were being failed. The new data shows the number of suspects charged dropped by 7% from 11,709 in January to March to 10,840 between April and June, the number of completed prosecutions fell from 14,695 to 13,938 and the number of convictions fell from 12,363 to 10,607.

The shadow solicitor general, Ellie Reeves, said the government continued to fail rape victims. “Rape conviction rates have plummeted, victims are being deserted and it is clear this is a government that has absolutely no desire to fix the mess it has created, nor a plan to keep women and girls safe,” she said.

The justice secretary, Dominic Raab, and the attorney general, Suella Braverman, said: “Our track record to date is not good enough and this data is a clear demonstration of why we must galvanise all aspects of the criminal justice system – from the police station to the court room – to improve outcomes for victims. Everyone will be held accountable for the successful delivery of the rape action plan.”

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INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.


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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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I Can’t Contest For President Again; It Will Diminish Me- Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, has said he will never contest for the Presidency of the country again.

The Ex-president said it would amount to diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for election again.

Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday.

The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour earlier in the year that he had purchased a nomination form of the All Progressives Congress to enable him to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

Ahead of the June 2022 APC presidential primary, a group, Nomadic Pastoralists and Almajirai Community, led by Ibrahim Abdullahi, purchased the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms in Jonathan’s name.

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