RASSO cases action plan released

Published on 24 March 2021
Plan sets out how police and the CPS will work together to improve their joint response to rape and serious sexual offence cases
Brief
2 mins read
'Police do not cross' line

A joint action plan between the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Police Chiefs' Council has been published, setting out a wide-ranging plan for greater collaboration to improve the responses to rape and serious sexual offence (RASSO) cases.

It is designed to ensure that victims have confidence in the criminal justice system and receive the best possible support and care while investigations and prosecutions are taking place. The plan sets out how police and the CPS will work together to improve their joint response to RASSO over the next three years, and complements work already underway as part of the joint operational improvement board (JOIB).

The actions in the plan cover five themes:

  1. Supporting victims – through an improved understanding of the impact of trauma, as well as better communication with victims, so they understand the process and what to expect in a way that enables them to give their best evidence.
  2. Casework quality – addressing any issues relating to casework quality and progression, to ensure that the relationship between police and prosecutors is timely, effective and geared towards building the strongest case from the outset.
  3. Right to privacy – balancing the needs of an investigation and a fair trial with the right to victims’ and witnesses’ right to privacy through work on digital capability and disclosure.
  4. Training – providing our people with training, development and structure, and supporting their wellbeing, to ensure that they have the expertise and capacity to deliver justice.
  5. Collaboration – working openly and being accountable through stakeholder engagement, to ensure that the action plan and its delivery is fit for purpose.

The action plan will be reviewed and updated as necessary to reflect any appropriate findings from cross-government review, as well as the forthcoming joint and independent inspection of the police and CPS responses to RASSO cases. Local joint action plans are also being developed to mirror the work of the national plan while responding to local issues.