Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, has demanded clarity following a series of contradictory remarks on the 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”.
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:
“It is disgraceful that after years of Tory incompetence rape prosecutions and convictions are at a record low, and after promising to take action to fix its failure of rape victims the Government continue to make contradictory remarks.
“The last thing we need right now is a U-turn from the UK Government after committing to targets. They must urgently clarify whether they intend to stick to the target of increasing the number of rapists who are charged and end up in court.
“Shifting the blame onto independent bodies and insinuating that the record-low prosecution rates are not the government’s responsibility is an insult to victims of rape in Birmingham Ladywood. We need urgent action and investment now”.
Notes to editors: 1. For more information, contact Ben Goldsborough at firstname.lastname@example.org