Ruffley questions why Suffolk's rape conviction rate is the second worst in the Country

Friday, 31 March, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today expressed his concern at the news that Suffolk has the second worst rape conviction rate in the whole Country.

In Suffolk only 1.6 percent of rape cases lead to a conviction. This compares to 5.39 percent in England and Wales as a whole and 13.79 percent in Northamptonshire, the best performing police authority area.

The figures were revealed in a report from The Fawcett Commission on Women and the Criminal Justice System which was published this week.

David Ruffley has today written to the Chief Constable of Suffolk, Alastair McWhirter, seeking an explanation for the figures.

David said:

'This is an alarming report, not merely because Suffolk is one of the worst performing areas but because there also seems to be a 'postcode lottery' emerging where women in one part of the country are far more likely to see a conviction than in another.

'A conviction rate of 1.6 percent is not good enough and although a proportion of this could be down to an increase in crimes reported it does not explain a discrepancy of over 10 percent with other parts of the country.

'I have today written to the Chief Constable of Suffolk, Alastair McWhirter seeking his explanation for these figures and his assurance that everything is being done to give women confidence in our justice system.

'I fully support the Fawcett Commission's calls for a new integrated approach to address violence against women- through education, public information campaigns and ensuring victims get the support services they deserve.'