Sex Offences and Domestic Violence Increase
Allegations of sexual offences and domestic violence now account for one in five cases being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service, with a record number of people being prosecuted for sexual offences in England and Wales.
Rape prosecutions rose from 4,643 in 2015-16 to a record 5,190 in 2016-17, with prosecution for all sexual offences excluding rape reaching 13,490 in 2016-17.
Prosecutions for revenge porn have more than doubled, from 206 to 465.
And the relatively new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour which was introduced in 2015 has resulted in 309 alleged offences.
While this increase in prosecutions for ‘violence against women and girls’ is celebrated by many, it also sparks concern for criminal defence solicitors like Forrest Williams.
We see too often the untrue and malicious allegations made by women against men that result in prosecutions and, sometimes, convictions.
While all allegations should be investigated, and all allegations with sufficient evidence should be prosecuted, we fear that a focus on prosecuting ‘violence against women and girls’ also presents a danger of encouraging false allegations. This danger should be acknowledged.
It’s existence does not mean that all allegations of sexual offences of domestic violence are false, but to celebrate the number of successful prosecutions without giving pause to consider the number of lives ruined where (usually) a man is falsely accused and found not guilty at trial is flawed.
We are passionate about the rights of the complainant, who remains described as, and considered to be, a victim from the moment an allegation is made despite this very term removing the neutrality of an investigation.
We should be equally as passionate about the rights of the defendants who are guilty of nothing unless a court of law finds them to be.
If you are accused of a criminal offence and need criminal defence solicitors who will fight for you, call our expert team on 01623 397200.