Unblurred Lines

The Independent publishes my corrections request re: Crown Prosecution Service’s skewed statistics on rape convictions

Last week, I blogged about the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) having exaggerated the 2015-16 rape conviction rate.

Via a press release, the CPS claimed that it was “convicting more cases of rape…than ever before,” with “a rise in the rape conviction rate [from 56.9] to 57.9 per cent.”

These figures were widely reported in the UK press, including the Independent newspaper.

the-independent-cps-rape-conviction-rate-2015-16

Via the WayBack Machine, the Independent’s Sept. 6 article

However, a close look at the CPS’ 2015-16 Violence Against Women and Girls crime report reveals that the rape conviction rate “includes cases initially flagged as rape [but] where a conviction was obtained for an alternative or lesser offence” and “where a rape charge is subsequently amended.”

On Sept. 17, I made a corrections request to the Independent regarding “Revenge porn prosecutions number ‘more than 200’ just 18 months after law change,” the newspaper’s Sept. 6 article which, as per the above screenshot, stated that “in 2015/16…There were a record numbers of rape prosecutions (4,643) and convictions (2,689).”

Yesterday, I received notification from the Independent’s readers’ liaison assistant Jane Campbell that the article has been updated.

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for contacting us via our online complaints form. We are always glad to hear from our readers, whether or not feedback is positive, and I am grateful to you for taking the time to get in touch about ‘Revenge porn prosecutions number ‘more than 200′ just 18 months after law change’ (6 September).

Your point is well taken and the article has now been changed to reflect that rape conviction figures also include cases where a conviction was obtained for an alternative or lesser offence.

I hope that, in spite of your concerns on this occasion, you will continue to read and enjoy The Independent. And please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future should cause arise.

With best regards
Jane Campbell
Readers’ liaison assistant

Here’s what the article reads now:

the-independent-cps-rape-conviction-rate-2015-16-correction-1

the-independent-cps-rape-conviction-rate-2015-16-correction-2

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