Police censure charging policy and judge allows landmark legal challenge to go ahead

The Crown Prosecution Service has faced a barrage of criticism after rape convictions in England and Wales fell to a record low, with police publicly censuring its charging policies and a judge paving the way for a landmark legal challenge.

New figures revealed that prosecutions and convictions more than halved in three years even though reported rapes increased. Despite police recording more than 55,000 rapes in 2019-20, there were just 2,102 prosecutions and 1,439 convictions. Three years earlier, just over 41,600 rapes were recorded and there were more than 5,000 prosecutions and nearly 3,000 convictions.

Related: What challenges do rape victims face in getting cases to court?

Related: 'State-sanctioned gaslighting': a rape survivor recalls her CPS ordeal

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