Back in 2010, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Keir Starmar took it upon himself to do something about the abymsal prosecution and handling of rape cases in the UK. In a December 2010 article published in The Guardian entitled “Rape: Justice Will Be Done,” Starmar outlined the ways in which he planned to make the UK a safer place for women and girls:
So what are we going to do? As prosecutors we need to reinforce the so-called ‘merits-based approach to rape cases. They should be judged entirely on the merits of the evidence: myths and stereotypes have no place in a criminal justice system underpinned by basic human rights. We can and should challenge them wherever we encounter them, whether that is during an investigation, among our fellow professionals or in court.
Over the past few years, Starmar has worked with CPS to improve the way CPS handles and investigates sexual offenses, to great results. The conviction rate rose to 73 percent from 60 percent over a 6 year period, and CPS has worked closely with police and rape/domestic violence specialists to ensure that what he calls “ingrained practices” don’t further victimize women and girls.