Please respect the scheme and its integrity. It has been designed to help sex workers keep each other safe in line with the original aims from Australia and the ongoing aims of schemes in local projects throughout the UK. Please read the following information from the CPS relating to false allegations.
False allegations of rape
- The existence of false or malicious allegations of rape is acknowledged. The damage caused can vary from wasting a few hours of police time to the arrest, detention and prosecution of an innocent person.
- The CPS recognises that such cases are extremely sensitive and that the intense media attention which they attract may deter genuine victims of rape from reporting for fear of not being believed by the police or even facing prosecution themselves. The amount of newspaper space devoted to such cases may also suggest to members of the public that false allegations are far more prevalent than they actually are.
- All false allegations referred by the police to CPS will be reviewed on a case by case basis applying the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Providing there is a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution is in the public interest potential charges will range from causing wasteful employment of the police (contrary to Section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967), an offence that can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court with a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment and/ or a fine; to perverting the course of public justice (contrary to Common Law), triable only in the Crown Court where it can attract a lengthy term of imprisonment.
When considering whether a prosecution is in the public interest prosecutors will be aware that the more serious the offence the more likely it is that a prosecution will be needed in the public interest [Paragraph 5.9 Code for Crown Prosecutors].
The Code sets out common public interest factors against prosecution some of which may be relevant to less serious cases involving false allegations. They include:
- the court is likely to impose a nominal penalty;
- the loss or harm can be described as minor and was the result of a single incident, particularly if it was caused by a misjudgement; and
- the defendant is ….. or was at the time of the offence, suffering from significant mental or physical ill health, unless the offence is serious or there is real possibility that it may be repeated. The Crown Prosecution Service, where necessary, applies Home Office guidelines about how to deal with mentally disordered offenders. Crown Prosecutors must balance
- the desirability of diverting a defendant who is suffering from significant mental or physical ill health with the need to safeguard the general public.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to divert the offender away from prosecution perhaps by the administering of a caution by the police.