§ 12. Ms. Clare Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will provide resources to enable the introduction of victim examination suites for rape victims throughout the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The establishment of suites for police examination of rape victims is eligible for grant aid to the police under established procedures. The decision whether examination suites are the best option for his area is an operational matter for each chief officer. Home Office circular 69/86, issued to the police in October last year, recommends that rape victims should be examined in conditions offering privacy and dignity, but this may be achieved by other means such as using acommodation in local hospitals.
§ 35. Mr. Gerald Howarth
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of rape have come before the courts in each of the last three years; and what has been the average length of sentence in those cases where there was a conviction.683W
§ Mr. Mellor
The readily available information on offences of rape is published annually in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales", supplementary tables volumes 1 and 2, under offence classification 19; for proceedings and sentences at magistrates' courts and the Crown court in tables S1.1(a) and S2.1(a); and for the distributiion of the lengths of prison sentences imposed in table S2.4. The figures for rape include some offences other than under section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, including offences of aiding and abetting and attempted rape.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Home Office guidance to police forces, in circular 69/86 issued in October last year, is that wherever practicable rape victims should be examined away from police stations to provide greater privacy. Adaptations to or building of accommodation for examining rape victims by the police are eligible for grant aid under the normal established procedures.