Legal team to tackle sex crimes in Surrey

A specialist team of lawyers who will only deal with cases of rape and serious sexual assault has been set up by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Guildford.

It is hoped the team will improve upon low conviction rates.

The prosecutors will work closely with police units who also specialise in sex crimes.

Neil Sweet, from the CPS, said he hopes the establishment of the team will encourage more victims to come forward.

He said: "The reporting of conviction rates obviously adversely affects public confidence and reporting of these sort of cases [affects] the individual's willingness to come forward.

"Obviously it's hoped with this work, individuals will have more confidence in the criminal justice service."

Mr Sweet said the team will now be able to dedicate 100% of their time to cases involving rape and serious sexual assault.

"They will be a single point of contact in particular for police officers who are similarly dedicated to investigating such cases," he said.

"They will therefore be available at any time throughout the day for contact from officers in relation to investigations and also will be liaising with the voluntary sector concerning the development of cases."

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