Justice minister outlines hopes of extra Government support for rape survivors

Rape survivors could receive extra help in the Budget, a justice minister has suggested.

Chris Philp told MPs he hopes “there is more we can do” in forthcoming spending decisions after outlining the steps the Government has already proposed.

He also agreed with concerns that “far too few reported cases” of rape are being progressed to the criminal justice system.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Philp (pictured) said: “The extra 20,000 police officers will of course greatly help in getting rape victims through the system, getting their cases into court.

“I referenced earlier the extra £85 million for the Crown Prosecution Service – a great deal of that will be targeted towards helping progress those often very complicated rape cases.

“And as recently as last September, my honourable friend in the Ministry of Justice provided an extra £5 million of funding for rape centres and ISVAs, independent sexual violence advisers, because one of the issues we have is rape victims dropping out of the process before the case reaches court.

“And I hope in the coming Budget and spending review, there is more we can do.”

Labour’s Rachel Reeves (Leeds West) told the minister: “In West Yorkshire, the number of rapes reported increased by 25% last year but just 4.4% of those cases resulted in someone being charged, and the same is true across the country.

“So what is the Government doing to ensure the criminal justice system is properly resourced and that it does not let down victims and add to the trauma they’ve already experienced?”

Mr Philp repeated pledges on extra police officers and cash for the CPS, adding: “And we’re increasing expenditure on both rape centres and ISVAs, although I’m sure in those areas there is more we can do.

“There is also a review urgently under way to see what further steps we can take but I believe those actions I’ve outlined already that are taking place as we speak will move us back in a happier direction.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) UK Parliament.

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