The Sunday Mail reports that prosecutors will be retrained to improve Scotland’s appallingly low conviction rate for sex crimes – one of the worst rates in the western world.
The Sunday Mail blames the figures on inexperienced prosecutors and victims’ lack of confidence in the system.
However, by next summer, fiscals will only be allowed to handle rape cases once they have approved training. The two-day course is said to offer refresher training on rape law and will teach lawyers how to support victims. It will include discussions with forensic examiners, senior police officers, victim support workers and High Court prosecutors.
The Lord Advocate Eilish Angiolini is reported as saying: “This training is a vital part of ensuring there is a professional, determined approach to gathering evidence and bringing prosecutions before the court.”
The latest figures for Scotland show convictions for rape have dropped to an all-time low of 2.9 per cent. In both Tayside and Dumfries and Galloway the rate was zero.
Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, is quoted as saying: “The development of this course is an important step in improving responses to rape.”