Ministers apologise to rape victims and promise overhaul of system

Charities welcome apology but say plans to reform rape prosecutions in England and Wales lack urgency

Ministers have apologised unreservedly to rape victims, saying they are “deeply ashamed” that thousands of survivors have been failed on the government’s watch, as they pledged an overhaul of the criminal justice system.

A long-awaited government review into a precipitous decline in rape prosecutions promises sweeping reform of how cases are handled in England and Wales, including targets for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police to increase the number of prosecutions, and plans to shift the focus of investigations from the victim’s credibility to the perpetrator.

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