Sexual Offence Solicitors Concerned by RASSO Report
Specialist sexual offence solicitors, Forrest Williams, recently reviewed a concerning report of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offence (RASSO) units at the Crown Prosecution Service.
Given the severity of the cases that are prepared and managed by these units, this review is worrying for sexual offence solicitors like Forrest Williams.
Innocent people are charged with serious sexual offences and from the beginning of the investigations stand to lose their reputations, careers, families and freedom. It is vital that the procedures used to investigate such allegations are followed correctly and without delay.
However, this Rape and Serious Sexual Offence review highlights that despite minimum standards for case work on Rape and Serious Sexual Offences cases being drawn up as a guideline to ensure consistency across cases and units, different working models have been developed across different units leading to poor compliance with the minimum standards set out!
Furthermore, while Rape and Serious Sexual Offence units should be staffed with rape specialist prosecutors and paralegal staff, this has not happened, and even when such specialists are in place, they are in need of refresher training that they have not received.
The prosecution service has been shown to be under-resourced for the current volume of work they must do, with “lack of time” being described as an issue for almost all rape specialists and charging decisions taking an average of 53 days instead of the target of 28 days.
It transpires that case work on rape and serious sexual offence cases is not always being handled by specialists in dedicated units and early investigative advice has been found to be ineffective when used.
What does this Rape and Serious Sexual Offence report mean if you are being investigated for a rape or serious sexual offence?
It means that your whole life depends on the work of agencies who are overstretched, who do not have the time necessary to fully investigate all avenues, and who are probably either not specialists or do not have the up-to-date training needed even if they are.
It means your fate is in the hands of government departments who have minimum working standards they should follow to ensure your case is handled correctly, but who do not meet those minimum working standards.
It means early investigation work that could potentially avoid you being charged for an offence you are innocent of is often not being done and, if it is, is proving to be ineffective.
It means that if you are being investigated for a rape or serious sexual offence, you will need dedicated specialist sexual offence solicitors on your side to help even out this imbalance.
Forrest Williams are that dedicated team.
We only defend those accused of sexual offences who deny the allegations and whom we believe are innocent. This means that we will fight against this injustice you are facing with passion, integrity and commitment.
Call us now to see how we can help you.
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