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Statement from Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, in response to the joint inspection of the police and Crown Prosecution Service’s response to rape

"We all know that the approach to prosecuting rape needs to improve. As noted in today’s national report (25/2), both the level and frequency of communication with rape victims needs to be improved. In turn, this will provide confidence to victims in knowing that their case is being progressed appropriately. 

"The report also highlights the need for improved collaboration between the police and prosecutors. I have made dealing with rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse a priority for the Thames Valley Criminal Justice Board which brings together all of the agencies involved in the criminal justice system, and will be meeting with the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss what more we can do. 

“One of the key parts of my Police & Criminal Justice Plan is to improve the criminal justice system. I will continue working with Thames Valley Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, Courts and the Government to deliver justice for victims across the Thames Valley.” 

Services are commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure victims of rape and sexual assault across the Thames Valley have appropriate access to support. Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) within the Victims First Specialist Adult Service provide victims with emotional and practical support as well as help victims navigate the criminal justice system. 

To make a referral, please contact Victims First on 0300 1234 148 or visit www.victims-first.org.uk

Ends 

You can read a full copy of the report at https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/news/news-feed/criminal-justice-system-continues-to-fail-rape-victims/