I want to be clear about something before I start here; it is a public scandal that a mere 5.6% of reported rapes result in a conviction.
What is equally scandalous, however, is this figure appears set to used, yet again, to justify a further assault on the standards of justice in British courts and on the independence of the judiciary.
To begin with, I want to put this figure for convictions of 5.6% into its proper context.
While it is true that only 5.6% of reported rapes (2002 figures) result in a conviction, the actual conviction rate at trial in this year was 48% and, in general, averages somewhere between 50-66% over time. Between half and two-thirds of all rape cases that go before a jury result in a conviction. This is still low by comparison to many other offences, where conviction rates of 80-90% are more the norm but not an entirely unacceptable figure as statistics go. (Of course, any time that a rapist is wrongly acquitted it is unacceptable but as Stalin correctly noted, “one death is tragedy, a million is a statistic