In this week’s episode of HJ Talks about Abuse, the team discusses rape trials and convictions, in particular a headline that has been in the press recently regarding Avon and Somerset Police’s new ‘whole story approach’ named ‘Operation Bluestone’, aimed at increasing rape prosecutions.
Operation Bluestone was rolled out in 2021 as a new approach to investigate and prosecute sexual crimes, following a ‘national crisis’ with women’s charities reporting in 2020 that rape prosecutions had plummeted to record lows.
In July 2023, Operation Bluestone was rolled out across all 43 police forces in England and Wales. The report highlights that less victims pulled out of their cases, and more cases were forwarded on to the CPS. In addition, more specialist training and roles were introduced in the police to work on rape cases.
Danielle and Hannah also debate the accuracy of the report, as they consider the sexual abuse cases that haven’t been reported, the effect of the COVID pandemic on the number of survivors coming forward and the Victim’s Code.