Thank you for writing to me about rape cases and convictions.
Like many across the country, I am deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Sarah Everard. My thoughts continue to be with her family and loved ones at this devastating time. The Prime Minister and the Government have been clear that all the answers to this horrifying crime must be found, and I send my support to all those who are investigating the case.
I share your concerns regarding the decline in the number of rape and serious sexual offences being charged and prosecuted in England and Wales. It is a cause for significant concern.
The Government shares this concern and is carrying out an End-to-End Review of how the Criminal Justice System responds to rape. This is extremely welcome, and I do believe that this comprehensive approach reflects the clear determination of Ministers to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that offenders are identified and brought to justice and that victims are supported.
I welcome the fact that the Ministry of Justice is working closely with operational partners from across the Criminal Justice System including the police, CPS and victims' groups. This will ensure that the Government can improve the way rape cases are dealt with.
The review will assess evidence of issues in the Criminal Justice System’s response to rape cases and formulate recommendations to address the challenges identified across the system. I also understand that the review will include considering the role of support services in victims’ engagement throughout the criminal justice system.
There should be no delay in the work of this review. I welcome the fact that the Ministry of Justice has said that the Government intends to publish the findings and actions of the End-to-End Review in the Spring.
Please be assured that I will read and reflect very carefully indeed on the findings and recommended actions of the review when they are published.
I am also very supportive of the strengthened elements in the current Police and Crime Bill which will help keep the public safe from harm from those who pose a known risk of sexual offending.
Thank you again for writing to me about this extremely important issue.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking