Karin Smyth MP demands clarity after Government U-turn on rape conviction targets

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has demanded clarity following a series of contradictory remarks on the UK Government’s planned actions to tackle record-low rape convictions and prosecution rates brought about by a decade of Conservative incompetence and cuts.

After an apology from the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, this week, the Government outlined its intention to “return the volumes of cases being referred by the police, charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and going to court, to at least 2016 levels – when the decline in prosecutions began to appear.

However, following Labour’s calls for these targets to be met within a year, and for Robert Buckland to resign if they were not met, the Justice Secretary has now branded such targets “constitutionally illiterate”.


Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“It is disgraceful that at a time when rape prosecutions and convictions are at a record low, the Tories continue to shift the blame and avoid responsibility. This lets victims down and undermines our ability to hold criminals accountable to the rule of law.

“Victims of rape in Bristol South have been failed by the Government for too long.  We need urgent clarity on whether they intend to take the action that was promised to increase the number of rapists who are charged and end up in court.

“The last thing victims need from the Justice Secretary is a U-turn, this will do nothing to help those who need it most. We need clarity, action and investment”.