Understanding how Northumbria Police and CPS (North East) work together to investigate and prosecute rape, with emphasis on the effect of myths and stereotypes

Gatherar, Dawn (2011) Understanding how Northumbria Police and CPS (North East) work together to investigate and prosecute rape, with emphasis on the effect of myths and stereotypes. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    There has been considerable investment, particularly over the last decade, in the introduction of policies, initiatives and legislation aimed at assisting and supporting victims of sexual violence, and improving the investigation and prosecution process for rape and sexual offences. Despite the implementation of these new practices and an increase in reporting rates, conviction rates have not kept pace. Research indicates that the prevalence of rape myths and stereotypes amongst society are a contributory factor to attrition. This qualitative case study was designed to explore with a number of criminal justice professionals their experiences of investigating and prosecuting rape. The sample comprised two specialist rape prosecutors from the Crown Prosecution Service, a Detective Inspector from the Northumbria Police dedicated rape investigation team, and the manager of a local Sexual Assault Referral Centre. Primary data was collected in the form of semi-structured interviews which were tape-recorded. Participants were also provided with three rape scenarios and a number of statements and scaled responses which the respondents were asked to select. The interviews were transcribed and main themes were identified and coded. The scaled responses were collated and the results of both sections were reported in a narrative manner. Key findings indicated positive feedback to the initiatives and policies aimed at supporting victims and improving the investigation and prosecution process. A good awareness of rape myths and stereotypes was established and evidence was found to suggest negative attitudes towards rape victims still exist within modern society. Areas of good practice are outlined and practical implications are discussed.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 14:57
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/5712

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