Warwickshire’s police force had the lowest rate in the past year out of all the forces in England and Wales of rapes recorded against adults which resulted in charge or caution.
Recently published figures show that only six per cent of rapes handled by the constabulary in 2012-13 resulted in one of the two outcomes - compared to an average across the 42 forces in England and Wales of 18 per cent. The highest rate was recorded by Durham Police at 32 per cent.
The news comes as the Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders announced last Friday that she was launching measures aimed at improving the conviction rate. The joint Crime Prosecution Service (CPS) and police action plan will include monitoring the quality of decisions when police forces decide to drop an investigation.
The conviction rate dropped since last year to 60 per cent, after five years of increasing from 58 per cent in 2007 to 2008 to 63 per cent in 2011 to 2012.
A spokeswoman for Warwickshire Police said the force welcomed the proposals, adding: “While we recognise there is concern around the number of cases referred to the CPS, we need to recognise that many rape cases are complex, emotive and challenging to investigate.
“Giving evidence at a trial for a vulnerable victim can be an extremely traumatic experience so together with the CPS and in line with regional protocol, before prosecution we need to be confident there is a realistic prospect of conviction.”
She said new figures show that the numbers of police referrals of rape cases had increased and that senior detectives will be using their “experience and judgement” to make decisions on these cases.
She added: “Officers are directed to carry out a thorough comprehensive investigation, seeking corroboration wherever possible to support what a vulnerable victim is saying.”