The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, is hoping to dispel the ‘myth’ that insufficient evidence should ever dissuade the police or courts from pursuing newspaper headlines with meaningless statistics.
‘Yes, we want more victims to come forward to the police,’ said the Crown Prosecution Service. ‘But not if they are making it up. We want more attackers prosecuted. But not if they are innocent. So what we are saying, from a statistical point of view, it would be really handy if all rapists – who know they are guilty – could hand themselves in at the nearest police station with a full confession. No timewasters, please.’
Over 1.5 million women and men suffer domestic abuse each year, but by chasing the 5% that relate to rape cases, lawyers are far more likely to meet their favourite 1970s TV presenter. Part of the problem, according to a spokesman for Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, is the manner with which the police deal with sexual offences but mainly, he added, ‘sex sells’.
‘The only way to remove sexual assault from our society is an increase in conviction rates,’ said Saunders. ‘To do this we need more rapists behind bars, so ultimately we are going to need more rapes…hold on…I mean…when we have less rapes we’ll have less trials…nope…that’s no good…Damn it! You know what I mean!’
The dilemma for all DPPs is that in order to appear tough on crime you need criminals to step up their game and for innocent people to ‘stop messing them about’. The CPS proposes to focus more on the credibility of the allegations, not the credibility of the victim, but admitted it would speed things up and help with administration if everyone could just tell the truth’.
A CPS spokesman said: ‘Frankly the process of justice is sluggish at best, an absolute snooze-fest at worst. It’s far easier to reel off statistics on past crimes as if it is proof of future crimes. That way the court of public opinion can skip over the whole evidence thingy and cut straight to reading the salacious details opposite Page Three’.