Listening to ‘Leading Voices’: Using expert insight to identify challenges to, and suggestions for the improvement of, rape investigation and prosecution in England and Wales

Hine, B. A., Murphy, A. D., Williams, E. and Widanaralalage Don, K. 2022. Listening to ‘Leading Voices’: Using expert insight to identify challenges to, and suggestions for the improvement of, rape investigation and prosecution in England and Wales. in: Johnson, E. (ed.) Challenges in Criminal Justice Routledge.

Chapter titleListening to ‘Leading Voices’: Using expert insight to identify challenges to, and suggestions for the improvement of, rape investigation and prosecution in England and Wales
AuthorsHine, B. A., Murphy, A. D., Williams, E. and Widanaralalage Don, K.
EditorsJohnson, E.
Abstract

Attrition, or the ‘dropping out’ of rape cases from the criminal justice process remains a persistent and troubling issue; despite several governmental and academic reviews and interventions designed to address myriad challenges identified. It is argued in this chapter, that this lack of success is perhaps partially due to a disconnect, or lack of effective knowledge transfer, between academics exploring these issues, and those working on the frontline within the criminal justice system. This chapter presents a series of individual essays, provided by hereby named ‘Leading Voices’ within the sector, which identify the current challenges to effective rape investigation and prosecution, along with suggestions for improvement. Contributions were drawn from all sections of the criminal justice system and beyond, including charities and third sector bodies, police forces, prosecution services, and government/oversight bodies and roles. It is hoped that the direct provision of expertise from those on the frontline to academics committed to assisting with this critical issue, will help stimulate research resulting in lasting improvement for rape victims. Critically, the individuals in this chapter identify the need for: training to address damaging attitudes about rape (or rape myths); more collaborative and holistic working among justice sectors; more effective use of technology and associated data in case investigation and prosecution; and greater resourcing in all areas to combat chronic underfunding resultant from austerity measures. Importantly, it is argued that it may be necessary to reconceptualise the idea of ‘success’ in relation to rape prosecution, which takes complainant satisfaction into greater consideration.

Book titleChallenges in Criminal Justice
Year2022
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published29 Jul 2022
Edition1
ISBN9781003143321
9781003143321
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003143321-9
File
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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