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Lord Advocate announces 62% rape conviction rate

The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, QC, has announced the first conviction rates for the new Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, which came into force in December 2010.

The Lord Advocate was speaking at the annual COPFS Sexual Offences conference, which brings together prosecutors, victims of crime, police, government, health specialists and charities to discuss the prosecution of sexual offences in Scotland.

In his speech, the Lord Advocate reflected on the first year under the new Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, which provided a broadened definition of rape and a statutory definition of ‘consent’. He also commented on a number of recent successful prosecutions, including the first conviction for human trafficking in Scotland.

Speaking at the conference, the Lord Advocate said:

"The new Sexual Offences Act brought about significant changes in the prosecution of sexual crime in Scotland. Previously Scotland had one of the narrowest definitions of rape in the world. The Act has broadened this substantially, making it no longer a gender-specific crime and providing a statutory definition of consent.

"The first internal statistics kept by NSCU under this new act are encouraging to date.

"There have been 13 concluded prosecutions for cases with a charge of rape under S1 of the 2009 Act. The conviction rate is 62%. Overall, for sexual offences there has been a conviction rate of 69% under the 2009 Act.

"Victims, and the public at large, should be confident that we have the skills and expertise to deal with this challenging and demanding area of work."

 

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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