GET IN TOUCH : 01484 821 500

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland and Home Secretary Priti Patel have expressed how they feel “deeply ashamed” of the low conviction rates for rape cases in England and Wales.

There are estimated to be 128,000 victims of rape and attempted rape each year. Home Office research demonstrates that only up to 3% of rape allegations are thought to be false, meaning that an estimated 97% of allegations are true. It is therefore alarming that only 1.6% of reported rape cases result in someone being charged.

Buckland admitted budget cuts were partially to blame for the conviction rates reaching record lows in recent years. This coincides with the calculations produced by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which revealed that the 2019/2020 budget for the Ministry of Justice was 25% lower than it had been in 2010/2011.As a result of the majority of cases not reaching court, one in two victims withdraw their allegations. Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird described in her annual report that the low levels of prosecution for rape are now so low that “we are witnessing the decriminalisation of rape”.

The recent government review has made the following recommendations:

  • Introducing better data extraction technology to reduce the time that victims are without their phones. At present, this process is taking months.
  • Putting greater emphasis on understanding a suspect’s behaviour rather than focusing on a victim’s credibility.
  • Sparing victims the trauma of attending a courtroom trial be videoing their cross-examination early in the process and away from the courtroom.

If you have suffered sexual abuse, our experienced abuse team headed by Natalie Marrison are here to help. For a confidential discussion, please contact the Ramsdens Abuse team on 0113 887 1834 or email