Cooper reacts to sexual violence figures

Sexual offending figures
Published on Friday, 11 January 2013 12:06
Posted by Scott Buckler

Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Home Secretary & Minister for Women & Equalities, responding to the Home Office/MoJ/ONS report on Sexual Offending in England and Wales said

"These dreadful figures show why national action is desperately needed to tackle sexual violence.

"There are estimated to be up to around 500,000 victims of sexual offences, so it is deeply worrying that there are only 5,600 convictions, and that the number of prosecutions has fallen.

"This should be a wake-up call to the Home Secretary to do more. We need an urgent step change in how we tackle sexual offences, to make the criminal justice system much more effective in prosecuting offenders, supporting victims and preventing crime too.

"Instead support services for the victims of sexual and domestic violence and specialist police units are being cut back.

"We need national standards for dealing with sexual and domestic violence to make sure that cases are properly pursued. That is why we have suggested a national domestic and sexual violence board to set standards and lead the way.

"The Government should also be doing more to prevent sexual violence - and should back our proposals for zero tolerance of violence to be part of sex and relationship education in schools.

"It is appalling that the number of offenders being convicted for some of the most serious crimes is so low in comparison to the number of offences. And it is deeply unfair that so many victims do not get the justice or protection they deserve. More action is needed by the government, police, prosecutors, courts, councils and communities to deal with these horrible crimes and keep people safe."

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