Ann Coffey

Category Archives: Press Releases


Major review into how rape cases are handled

I am delighted that the Government has announced a root and branch review into how the criminal justice system handles rape cases.

This is something I have been campaigning for. There is an ‘explosive cocktail’ of shockingly low charging and conviction rates at a time when record numbers of women – over 40,000 a year – are reporting rape.

The review is long overdue. We must not allow the clocks to be turned back to a situation where rape victims are frightened to speak out because they fear they will not get justice.

It is vital that the review thinks ‘outside the box’ and examines whether the jury system is the best way to deliver justice in rape cases because of the dominance of ‘rape myths’ in society, such as girls who drink or wear short skirts are ‘asking for it’.

This week I also released Freedom on Information figures which show that the number of rape cases charged by the Crown Prosecution Service has plummeted again and is getting worse each year. According to the statistics, there was a 24.6 per cent drop in charging rates from 61.9 per cent in 2013/2014 to 37.3 per cent by September 2018.

These new figures show once again that the justice system is not working for rape victims as fewer and fewer men accused of rape are being charged.

The obvious conclusion is that it appears that because juries are reluctant to find young men guilty of rape that the CPS are scared and reluctant to prosecute and the police are scared and reluctant to refer cases forward to the CPS.

The loser is the rape victim. They feel they have been denied access to justice.

 

See more in the Guardian here – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/06/prosecution-rate-in-england-and-wales-falls-to-five-year-low?fbclid=IwAR2v_Q4oyTtay5NeUe0WNd5ZjYNJA6DKl833xkeF5Rl9xEAiHrsreBkg0zs

Stockport Express February 2019

27th February 2019

It was a privilege and an honour to have been elected as your MP in 1992. Over the years I have met many of you first as children on visits to schools and then as parents yourselves.

Thank you so much for your letters of support following my announcement that after 41 years I was resigning from the Labour Party. I am sorry for the distress I have caused colleagues in the local party. This was not a decision I took lightly.

My values have not changed and I and the excellent and committed people who work for me will continue to help and support you with your problems.

And I will continue to represent you in the same way I have done for the last 27 years as an MP and before that as a local councillor.

You voted to remain in Europe in the referendum recognising the value of us being part of a single market. I have voted in parliament for those options that could deliver the best possible economic deal for us. I will continue to do so. Remaining in the EU would have given us the best deal. We rely on a sound economy to fund our public services. We need jobs, housing, first class health provision and investment in our children’s education.

From a recent survey of constituents  it was clear that young people see their future in Europe and are upset that what was on offer to older generations is no longer there for them. Their view of the world is unlimited by national boundaries. This is the impact of the world wide web.

Brexit will change Britain in a way we cannot imagine for future generations. When I have visited schools I have been very impressed by the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of our children. They are a credit to their teachers and parents. They will be our asset in the Britain to come .

 

 

 

Stockport Express, Column January 2019

January 31 2019

Sick and disabled hit hard by benefit delays

It is always very sad to hear about people in Stockport who are under great stress and suffering financial hardship. I have recently been contacted by people who have disabilities and long term illnesses who have been refused Personal Independence Payments or are not being paid their full entitlement.

They are having to wait on average about eight and half months for their appeals to be heard and are struggling with high levels of anxiety and massive money problems.  Personal Independence Payments replaced Disabled Living Allowance in 2013 and are paid to some of the most vulnerable people in the country who have difficulty with daily living and getting around.

It is a disgrace that such deserving cases are having to wait such a long time.

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