The CPS decide that there is sufficient evidence,

The decision to charge an alleged
prepetrator of sexual violence is undertaken by either the Police or the
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The police will
conduct an investigation to gain supporting evidence, i.e. medical or
scientific evidence, CCTV evidence, or eyewitnesses regarding events prior to
or after the incident to corroborate the victims statement (Cps.gov.uk, 2017).

The Police make their decision to charge an alleged
prepetrator or discontinue the case against them based on whether they believe
that sufficient evidence has been gathered to provide a realistic prospect of a
conviction.

The CPS is an
organisation completely independent of the police.  The CPS will examine  all available evidence provided by the police,
and make a decision to charge based on a two-fold question system; whether
there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and
whether it is in the public interest to prosescute.  If
the CPS decide that there is sufficient evidence, and that it is in the
public’s interest, they will authorise the Police to charge an alleged prepetrator (Cps.gov.uk, 2017).

There are several
factors that may influence the decision to prosecute, for example the alleged prepetrator had relevant previous convictions, was in a position of trust or
authority, had a weapon or used or threatened violence; the alleged victim was
vulnerable, had been intimidated or physically attacked; the level of harm
caused; and the likelihood that a conviction would result in a lengthy sentence
(From Report
to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence, 2014).

If there is
sufficient evidence available, the public interest test will usually be met
unless it would have a negative effect on the physical or mental health of the
alleged victim; the alleged
prepetrator is
very old or very young, and/or at the time of the offence suffering from
serious mental or physical ill health. These
issues should be weighed against the seriousness of the offence (Cps.gov.uk, 2017).

A rape specialist,
working closely with the Investigating police officer to build the case against
the alleged prepetrator, should
make charging decisions in rape cases. In cases that involve sexual violence
but not rape, a rape specialist or experienced CPS prosecutor may make the
decision (CPS Policy
for Prosecuting Cases of Rape, 2012).

The Victims’ Code
sets out who is responsible for keeping the alleged victim informed about
whether a decision to charge has been made (From Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual
violence, 2014).

If such evidence
is not available, a prosecution can still take place if it is decided that it
is in the public interest, unless it is decided that “there are public interest
factors tending against prosecution which clearly outweigh those tending in
favour” (Crown Prosecution Service, 2012).

A decision taken
not to prosecute a serious case of sexual violence would have to be supported
by clear reasons.

The CPS would then proceed
with preparing to undertake that prosecution to a court of law.

 If a decision is made to either substantially
alter or drop the charge, within one working day, the prosecutor who made that
decision will notify the victim, and offer to meet to explain the reasons for
their decision. However, if a decision not to charge is made by the prosecutor during a meeting with
a police officer, the police offer will notify the victim
(Cps.gov.uk, 2017).

If the Police and
the CPS agree that a charge is to be reduced or dropped, and if appropriate, in
accordance with CPS/ACPO Rape Protocol, the police will deliver a letter
explaining the reasons to the victim (Cps.gov.uk, 2017).

When
the CPS notify the victim of the decision not to prosecute or to discontinue
proceedings, they will also be notified of the right to request a review of
that decision and how to exercise that right through The Victims’ Right to
Review Scheme (VRR). VRR makes it easier for victims to review a CPS decision not
to prosecute or to discontinue proceedings. The scheme applies to decisions
made on or after 5th June 2013 (From
Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence, 2014).

If
a victim decides that they want to request a review of the case, in the first
instance the case will be referred to the CPS area that made the decision. The
decision will be reviewed, and an explanation sent to the victim. If the victim
disagrees with the decision they can then ask for their case to be referred the
Appeals and Review Unit, the relevant Chief Crown Prosecutor, or the Head of a
Casework Division. A further review will take place, and a Reviewing Prosecutor will determine whether the initial
finding was incorrect. If determined that the decision was wrong, the Reviewing
Prosecutor will decide whether a charge should be brought, or proceedings re-started
(From Report
to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence, 2014).

When
the review process has been completed, the victim would be offered an opportunity
to discuss the outcome (From
Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence, 2014).

If
the decision not to charge the suspect was taken by the police, then the VRR
does not apply. In this situation, the victim can write to the police and ask
them to review their decision and/or pass their case to the CPS. If the police
will not do this the victim can ask for reasons why (From Report to Court: A handbook
for adult survivors of sexual violence, 2014).

If a
satisfactory response is not received the victim can complain to the
Independent Police Complaints Commission (From Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual
violence, 2014).