UK

Suspected rapists labelled as ‘females’ in CPS referrals, figures show

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the practice of labelling rape suspects as women was wrong (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the practice of labelling rape suspects as women was wrong (Stefan Rousseau/PA) Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the practice of labelling rape suspects as women was wrong (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Police have labelled 260 suspected rapists as “females” and asked prosecutors to consider charges against them, figures show.

The information, which covers the last four years, was in data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) gained by The Daily Telegraph in a Freedom of Information request.

Last year, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the practice of labelling rape suspects as women was wrong, as by law, rape can only be committed by a biological male.

Mrs Braverman went on to instruct officers to adopt a “common sense” approach to policing.

The figures, seen by PA, show a further 209 suspects were recorded with an “unknown” sex, which is understood to include non-binary people.

In 2019, there were 40 “females” who were referred for rape and 17 were charged. A year later, 56 were referred and prosecutors charged 46.

The CPS received 81 “female” referrals for rape in 2021 and charged 29 while in 2022 there were 64 referrals with 26 charged.

The first three months of 2023 included 19 “female” referrals and five charges.

It comes after the controversy around transgender rapist Isla Bryson, who was initially kept in an all-female prison and the Scottish Government later intervened.

Bryson was subsequently moved from Cornton Vale women’s prison to a male prison estate.

A source close to Mrs Braverman told the Daily Telegraph: “Only men can be rapists and official police information should be reflecting that wherever appropriate – anything else is nonsense.”

The Telegraph also adds that some campaigners have said the system is an “insult” to victims of sexual violence and the data is “useless” in tackling offending.