Police forces and prosecutors failing to carry out ‘fundamental’ procedure in rape cases, Attorney General says


The failings which have lead to a national overview of all stay rape and serious sexual assault cases have been due to police forces and prosecutors not carrying out “primary” system, the Attorney General has cautioned. prosecutors

In a stinging complaint of authorities’ handling a chain of failed rape instances, Jeremy Wright QC has said there was “no excuse” and that there was a “full-size problem” with how disclosure protocol is accompanied.

He also declined to mention whether or not Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, have to bear in mind her function, however said that tackling the difficulty required a “joint attempt” from prosecutors and police.

Mr Wright made the comments yesterday as he discovered he had asked the CPS to study all live instances, amid fears that dozens may be compromised through the failure to disclose critical proof beforehand of trial.

Ms Saunders has admitted the evaluation – so one can affect every pressure in England and Wales – will in all likelihood result in a number of cases being stopped as others are added forward. Police forces

It comes after four high-profile rape instances collapsed within a period of weeks, after the prosecution turned into observed to have only disclosed critical information – which might have cleared the defendants – days earlier than trial.

Alison Saunders
Alison Saunders CREDIT: FELIX CLAY
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Wright stated that whilst he did not trust that “malpractice or dishonesty” become rife in the justice machine, it was evident that disclosure became no longer being observed “nicely”.

He additionally rebuked recommendations that investment cuts were responsible for the flaws, mentioning that the number of special prosecutors coping with rape and sexual offences had accelerated by way of 40 percent when you consider that 2015.

“What we are speakme about here is those people doing the task they may be anticipated to do and following the disclosure regime well – that is what we need to all count on them to do,” he brought.

“I suppose it would be incorrect to lessen this to a controversy approximately sources – I suppose it’s plenty more essential than that.

“The failings in these cases have now not been because there wasn’t a police officer and there wasn’t a prosecutor, it’s because they failed to look like making use of the regime they are predicted to apply in accomplishing disclosure well.”

He added that disclosure became “simple stuff”, however that he did no longer agree with there was evidence of “sizable malpractice or dishonesty”.

A collection of blunders led to the collapse of the prosecution of Oxford University scholar Oliver Mears
A collection of mistakes caused the disintegrate of the prosecution of Oxford University scholar Oliver Mears
As a part of the evaluate, the CPS can be tasked with bringing the justice machine into the “new global” with the intention to grapple with the frequently “large volume” of digital evidence, which includes social media messages.

On Friday, Ms Saunders said of the rape instances review: “Inevitably, bringing ahead these case opinions way it’s far in all likelihood that there may be a number of cases which we are able to be stopping at across the equal time.”, Attorney General

The CPS, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing also posted a disclosure “development plan”.

The record commits to reviewing whether there “should be a demand for officials to hold a Licence to Practise in admire of disclosure” through January 2019.