False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between

Buying bamboo stuffed with sticky rice, Xisuangbanna,  February 2011

Buying bamboo stuffed with sticky rice, Xisuangbanna, February 2011

Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service has written the following article for the Guardian’s Comment is Free:

False allegations of rape and domestic violence are few and far between

Well now they have their answers. From the article:

This report outlines the key findings from the review of those cases and the steps that we plan to take. Importantly, what it shows is that charges brought for perverting the course of justice or wasting police time for such “false” allegations need to be considered in the context of the total number of prosecutions brought for those offences. In the period of the review, there were 5,651 prosecutions for rape and 111,891 for domestic violence. During the same period there were 35 prosecutions for making false allegations of rape, six for making false allegation of domestic violence and three for making false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.

Furthermore, the report shows that a significant number of these cases involved young, often vulnerable people. About half of the cases involved people aged 21 years old and under, and some involved people with mental health difficulties. In some cases, the person alleged to have made the false report had undoubtedly been the victim of some kind of offence, even if not the one that he or she had reported.

This review has highlighted the complex nature of these cases. Prosecutors need to look critically at the behaviour and credibility of all those involved, not just the person making the complaint. In addition, the events of the last year have demonstrated that there is an urgent need for an informed national debate about the proper approach to the investigation and prosecution of sexual offences. That debate needs to extend well beyond the CPS and the police.

It is all too frequent that when any article about rape or domestic violence is published on CiF, the cry goes up – “what about the menz” and “what about false allegations”. This article seems to be no different..

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