Former Chief Prosecutor thinks rape has "effectively been decriminalised"

17 December 2019, 18:39 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 18:42

The former Chief Prosecutor for the North West has spoken out against cuts in the criminal justice system after a report found a 25% reduction in rape charges, prosecutions and convictions since 2018.

Speaking to LBC's Eddie Mair, Nazir Afzal agreed with guest Sarah Green of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, who suggested that rape has, in effect, become decriminalised because of record low convictions.

"I'm not gonna disagree with Sarah," said Mr Afzal.

"I think there has been a perfect storm in the reduction in staffing which has had an impact and there is a cultural issue as well, I have no doubt."

A report has found convictions of rape fell significantly
A report has found convictions of rape fell significantly. Picture: PA Images

A Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate report this week suggests the decline in convictions in England and Wales is partly due to a lack of resources.

Eddie suggested to Ms Green that "people who want to commit rape are probably going to get away with it".

She replied: "That's why women's groups are engaged. We're not massive fans of the criminal justice system and the harm that it can do to some victims, putting them through the stages involved.

"But if you get to a point like this, you have effective impunity."