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CPS Wessex works with three police forces to improve outcomes in sexual offences

|News, Sexual offences

On a day that marks the start of Sexual Abuse and Violence Awareness Week, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex is highlighting a long-term partnership project aimed at improving services offered to those who report rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO).

Developed in partnership with Dorset Police, Hampshire Constabulary and Wilshire Police, the Wessex RASSO Action Plan has seen the introduction of a range of measures with a greater focus on improving the experience for those who engage with our service and to improve the likelihood of the perpetrator being brought to justice.

We aim to remove barriers to reporting and participating in the criminal justice system and make the process for victims easier.

Those reporting an offence, no matter how much time has elapsed, will be supported by specially trained police officers who will conduct a compassionate and professional investigation. Their privacy will be protected and steps will be taken to safeguard them from further abuse.

All RASSO cases are prosecuted by specialist lawyers who are trained to understand the challenges that are often associated with such cases, and we are committed to being fair and sensitive in our decision making to ensure there is a just outcome for all affected.

Any victim going through the justice system should know that they will be supported by a team of people who have undergone training to understand the context of what they have been through.

CPS Wessex Chief Crown Prosecutor, Joanne Jakymec, welcomes the improvements set out in the Wessex RASSO Action Plan: “This has the full support of CPS Wessex and the Chief Constables across the three police forces we work in partnership with.

“We are fully committed to working together to build strong cases from the outset in order to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Over the following weeks we will be taking a closer look at different aspects of the service and how changes to the way we engage with victims is beginning to make a difference.

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