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Met response to London Rape Review

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Met response to London Rape Review

Met response to Claire Waxman, the London Victims’ Commissioner’s most recent London Rape Review

Commander Melanie Dales, the Met lead on public protection, said: “The Met is committed to providing the best possible service to victims of rape and sexual offences.

"We are absolutely determined to increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice by improving our processes, investigations and victim care, all the time working with partners across the criminal justice system.

"Reports of rape and sexual offences have steadily increased in recent years. We’ve worked hard to meet this demand whilst providing support to victims who bravely come forward and report to us.

"Sexual offence investigations are some of the most complex police deal with. We know there is more to do to increase the number of cases brought before the courts. We welcome the report from the London Victims’ Commissioner and look forward to working with her to improve outcomes for victims.

"Prior to the publication of today’s report, we had taken a number of significant steps to increase our performance and service to victims, which relate to the areas identified in the London Victims’ Commissioner’s recommendations for the Met.

"We continue to work hard with our partners and the Crown Prosecution Service to expedite the digital forensic and judicial process to support victims who have shown great bravery in reporting to police.

"Last month we announced that the Met is investing £11m in digital forensics to help us bring criminals to justice and deal more effectively and efficiently with victims of crimes, including rape and serious sexual offences. This investment is enabling us to develop and use our technology to catch more criminals, speed up investigations, build more successful criminal cases, reassure victims and increase confidence in the justice process.

"We have increased the number of “self service” kiosks where officers can download and secure vital evidence, improving the turnaround time for capturing material and returning devices to the victims sooner. There are currently eight digital hubs placed locally where forensic examiners provide enhanced support to officers in extracting evidence from a range of devices. This will be increased to 12 to further support investigations. We are continually developing our skills and equipment in our Laboratory Services to support investigations.

"A new agreement between police and the CPS to work much closer in the very early days of an investigation will mean stronger cases from the start and should lead to a faster charging decision. This will, we hope, reduce the chance of a victim withdrawing their support. From Monday, 13 December, a new process is being launched by the Met’s Case Management Team to ensure the benefits of this early investigative advice are realised by investigators, the CPS and most importantly the victims themselves.

"We understand that rape and serious sexual assault are incredibly distressing and impact victims deeply and we also fully recognise that there is much more we must do to drive the improvements to the criminal justice outcomes they deserve to see.

"We will continue to work hard to reach the best outcomes for victims, to build their confidence, and the confidence of the wider public."