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New figures show almost 1 in 5 trials for rape/attempted result in Not Proven

Stats

New figures released today by the Scottish Government show that almost one in five trials for rape or attempted rape result in a Not Proven verdict.

The figures also show a fall in the number of prosecutions but a slight increase in the number of convictions.

• Almost one in five rape and attempted rape trials result in a not proven verdict.

• 43% of rape and attempted rape trials result in a conviction.

 

Rape & Attempted Rape

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Reported

1809

1878

2255

Prosecuted

216

251

247

Convicted

105

99

107

% of cases prosecuted resulting in conviction

48.6%

39%

43.3%

% of cases resulting in Not Proven

21%

17%

19%

Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland said
“The conviction rate for rape and attempted rape continues to be the lowest for any crime type. It is clear that much more needs to be done to improve access to justice for people in Scotland who have been raped. The figures speak for themselves – in 2017/18, there were 2,255 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the police, but only 107 convictions. Reporting rape, and going through the criminal justice process, can be an extremely difficult experience. Survivors routinely tell us that they feel completely let down by the justice system.

It is time to consider whether the not proven verdict needs to go.
Many survivors have told us is that the reality of this verdict can be devastating. It’s a verdict which is used disproportionately in rape cases and it has exactly the same impact as not guilty in terms of acquitting the accused. Our concern is that the not proven verdict can give jurors in rape trials an easy out.

We also need to look at jury attitudes, and the role that myths about rape may be playing in jury decision making in these cases.”

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