A Labour government would introduce specialist rape courts, the party said as it highlighted analysis showing the number of rape survivors dropping their case has more than doubled since 2015.
Sir Keir Starmer will repeat his promise to halve levels of violence against women and girls as he meets with charities supporting victims in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, on Thursday.
The Labour leader said the backlog-plagued criminal justice system under Rishi Sunak’s Tories amounted to a “national scandal”.
As both main parties ramp up commitments on law and order ahead of May’s local elections, Sir Keir vowed to raise confidence in the criminal justice system and policing.
Labour analysis of government statistics showed that 41% of rape victims now pull out of pursuing their case, up from 19% eight years ago.
Among all crime victims, a quarter are dropping their case altogether.
Figures also showed that only 1.6% of reported rapists were charged in the last year, while record backlogs in the courts meant victims faced an average three-year wait for justice.
Sir Keir said: “The state of the criminal justice system under the Tories amounts to a national scandal. It will rightfully be viewed by victims as a stain on our country.
“As director of public prosecutions, I changed the service so survivors’ bravery was supported and the system got them the justice they needed and deserved.
“That’s why I’ve made it the national mission of a future Labour government – to halve levels of violence against women and girls and increase confidence in the justice system to their highest levels.
“Labour will put victims back at the heart of the system. We’ll stop victims going through the harrowing experience of waiting months, sometimes years for justice, by opening specialist rape courts to fast-track cases.
“We’ll put more police on our streets, and increase the number of prosecutors to put violent rapists and killers behind bars quickly. Protecting the public and making our streets safe will drive my Labour government.”
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