West Yorkshire Police 'working incredibly hard' to improve six per cent rape conviction rate

Just six per cent of all rape allegations in West Yorkshire are referred to the CPS, despite the number of false claims being "very small".
Just six per cent of all rape allegations in West Yorkshire are referred to the CPS, despite the number of false claims being "very small".

West Yorkshire Police is "working incredibly hard" to improve conviction rates for rape, the force's chief constable John Robins has said.

Just over six per cent of all rape allegations between April 2017 and March 2018 were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by police in the region, it emerged last month.

Police say they want to improve conviction rates.

Police say they want to improve conviction rates.

The CPS then makes a decision about whether or not to charge a suspect and take the case to court.

The issue was raised at a West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday, which was attended by the chief constable.

Leeds councillor Amanda Carter said: "I saw a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP) about the fact that just six per cent of allegations were passed onto the CPS.

"That's a concern.

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson

PCC Mark Burns-Williamson

"Sadly there are some people who cry 'rape' when they haven't been raped and report a false allegation.

"That's awful and it doesn't help anyone, including victims. Can I ask how many of these were false allegations?"

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson said he was unsure of the exact figure but added he believed it was "very small".

CC Robins said that everyone who reports a rape claim to the police was given specialist support.

He said: "The number of people being convicted for rape was actually increasing year-on-year, but over the last year that's dropped away.

"There has been a change in processes within the CPS with regard to the disclosure of phone records for victims.

"That may or may not have caused a delay in some cases, and potentially there's a negative consequence for victims in that they don't want to expose their whole lives to the criminal justice system.

"There's a national discussion within the CPS about that at the moment.

"But it's one of those things where we want more convictions and we're working incredibly hard on that."

Local Democracy Reporting Service