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Thames Valley Police aims to improve rate of prosecutions for sexual offences over next year

Thames Valley Police aims to improve rate of prosecutions for sexual offences over next year

Simon Meechan

Pushing for more successful prosecutions for sexual offences is set to be a priority in Thames Valley Police's crime and policing plan for 2015-16.

Windsor and Maidenhead local policing area commander, Superintendent Kate Ford, says the plan, which is in its draft stage, will see a switch in focus from targets which aimed for 'headline' percentage reductions in crimes such as burglary.

Speaking at a crime and disorder overview and scrutiny panel meeting in Maidenhead Town Hall on Tuesday, Supt Ford said the focus of the incoming delivery plan will focus on  managing 'threat, harm and risk', with an emphasis on serious sexual offences.

Two aims, Supt Ford said, are to increase the amount of rape investigations which lead to successful prosecutions, and to push for more charges or cautions in domestic abuse investigations.

Many reports are not taken any further by the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] and Supt Ford would like to see more justice for victims.

She said police will look at why prosecutions fail.

The force will also look at whether it can give better support to victims who fear violent reprisals for prosecuting their abuser.

She added: "Does it fail because, for whatever reason, we haven't been able to supply sufficient evidence?

"Have the police done everything that they were tasked to by the CPS?

Supt Ford said the report is in its draft stage and set to be published in the next few weeks.

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