Crown Court sentencing remarks to be broadcast for first time.
Enormous court backlogs mean victims of crime are facing years of unacceptable delay in their quest for justice
In her 2021/22 Annual Report, Dame Vera Baird reflects on the challenges facing victims and the justice system.
The Victims' Commissioner reacts to the latest criminal court statistics, which show "enormous" court backlogs are leaving victims waiting on average 436 days for their case to come to court.
"We are now not short on recommendations. Ultimately, the problems in investigating and prosecuting rapes are plain and clear and it is drive and leadership to bring fundamental change on the ground that is now urgently needed."
Dame Vera Baird said most worrying was Home Office data showing 30 per cent of victims withdrew reports of rape within three months, suggesting their experience had been so bad and traumatic that they could not go through with the prosecution.
In her 2020/21 Annual Report, Dame Vera Baird reflects on the Crown Court backlog of cases and its impact on victims.
Vulnerable and intimidated witnesses still put at risk of coming face-to-face with perpetrators and not receiving the support they need to prevent courtroom intimidation.
Dame Vera Baird called for assurances from HMCTS that pressures on the court system, including the growing case backlog, would not "outweigh the potential adverse impacts on victims and witnesses".
The Victims' Commissioner welcomes the national rollout of pre-recorded cross-examination (Section 28).