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Labor promises specialist rape courts to speed up cases and support victims

Labor pledged to set up specialist rape courts to speed up justice for victims and provide them with dedicated support.

The party said rape victims currently face a nearly three-year delay between reporting the crime and completing trials for their attackers.

Only one in 100 alleged rapists are prosecuted, despite a record number of complaints to the police.

Under Labour’s plans, announced ahead of its annual conference in Liverpool, a dedicated courtroom for handling rape trials would be established in every crown court in England and Wales.

Independent sexual violence counselors would be hired at each court and all staff would receive specialized trauma training to help victims.

The work would also work with the judiciary to ensure rape cases are prioritized.

Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed said: ‘Under the Tories, criminals are repeatedly let go while victims are left behind.

“While the Tories have effectively decriminalized rape, Labor will put victims back at the heart of justice.

“Labour will take decisive action to expedite rape cases in every court, provide dedicated support for vulnerable survivors, and increase minimum jail sentences for rapists – to keep the public safe.”