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18 February 2022 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

Prosecution rates drop by 45% in four years: HJ Talks About Abuse

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This week we talk about child sexual abuse prosecution rates have reported fallen 45% in four years.

The figures obtained by the NSPCC indicate prosecutions fell from 6,394 in 2016/2017 to 3,025 in 2020/2021. Convictions in the same period fell from 4,751 to 2,595

Further information obtained through freedom of information requests suggested cases were taking much longer to get to trial with explanations of closing courts, reduced court staff.

However, during the same period there was an increase of 57% in police reports of child sexual abuse. We have discussed before the impact of the pandemic on resources, increased abuse and delays in court procedures.

NSPCC are now calling for Dominic Rabb to review and reserve the decline in prosecutions and convictions. Further they want court delays tackled and more funding for specialist sexual violence advisers to assist children during the process.

NSPCC are seeking funding from the Ministry of Justice Spending Review to tackle the backlog of child sexual abuse cases, to fund children safe houses

However a crown prosecution services spokesman stated prosecutions had increased by 22% in the last year. Between July 2020- June 2021 the CPS stated 4347 were prosecuted which was a 84.2 % conviction rate. The year before they state the conviction rate of 2556 prosecutions was 84.4 %

Contact us

We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at [email protected] or Danielle Vincent at [email protected], or use the enquiry form below.

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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