Postcode lottery on rape convictions

Rape victims face postcode lottery over bringing attackers to justice, says report

Women reporting rape are 11 times more likely to get a conviction in some areas than in others, according to a new report.

Data obtained from the Ministry of Justice by the campaigning equality group, the Fawcett Society, found huge discrepancies in conviction rates in different parts of the country. In Cleveland, almost one in five rapes reported to the police in 2007 resulted in a conviction, while in Dorset the figure was fewer than one in sixty.

Campaigners blame the low conviction rates on systematic failures and prejudices from the time of the initial complaint right up until the trial itself.

“The appalling figures in most police force areas reveal that women continue to face a postcode lottery when reporting rape to the police,” said Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society.

Rape should be treated with the same professionalism as other crimes with consistency in initial response to victims and investigation across police areas.”

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