Rape 'Effectively Decriminalised' In The UK, Labour's Steve Reed Says

The shadow justice secretary has vowed to introduce specialist courts to deal with the backlog of cases.
Steve Reed shadow justice secretary.
Steve Reed shadow justice secretary.
Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images

Rape has effectively been “decriminalised” in the United Kingdom, Labour’s shadow justice secretary has said.

Steve Reed has vowed to introduce specialist courts dealing with rape, if Labour wins the next election.

The shadow cabinet minister said tackling the “epidemic of violence” facing women would be top of his priorities.

“When you look at the stats, barely one in a hundred reported rapes ever results in a conviction,” he told Gloria De Piero on GB News.

“That’s effectively decriminalising rape in my opinion. And if you’re one of those few women - and its nearly always women - who is a rape survivor who gets to court, the average wait is three years.

“That’s shocking when you’ve been a victim of an offence like that.”

Reed said he wanted the specialist courts to get the wait down to six months so victims have confidence the criminal justice system is on their side.

The MP for Croydon North also spoke about his own experiences of crime revealing how he was attacked at knifepoint 20 years ago.

Even now, Reed said he is unable to wear headphones when in the street as he fears being attacked again.

He was returning from a barbeque in Brixton when two men jumped out from behind a wall.

One of them grabbed him and put a knife to his throat while the other rifled through his pockets and took his bag, Reed said.

“It gave me a real insight into what it’s like to be a victim of a potentially very violent crime,” Reed said.

The full interview will be broadcast this Sunday from 6pm on Gloria Meets on GB News.


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