Forging the links: Rape investigation and prosecution

Published on: 28 February 2012

Publication types: National report


This joint report by HMIC and the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate looked at rape investigation and prosecution. We found that progress has been made in relation to the needs of rape victims, but there is more to do. Improvements must be made to the way the police gather and analyse intelligence material to identify perpetrators of rape and more can be done to ensure that prosecutions are robust.

Our inspection activity comprised three phases:

  • site visits to some forces and Crown Prosecution Service Areas by HMIC and HMCPSI;
  • an examination by HMIC of the specific challenges associated with ‘stranger’ rape and ‘serial’ offenders; and
  • a more general assessment by HMIC of record keeping and the tools used to gather and analyse information about rape (at a local and national level).

We make a number of practical recommendations aimed at improving the way intelligence is gathered in rape investigations and cases are built against suspects. Implementing these changes should not require significant investment in time or money but they could make a real difference to the police’s ability to understand and solve rape crimes.

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