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False rape allegations 'very rare'
False rape and domestic violence allegations are less common than previously thought, a new report by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has found.
Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, will set out the evidence the CPS has gathered after looking into cases of perverting the course of justice and wasting police time over a 17-month period.
The "trailblazing" research has discovered that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are "very rare", with only a very small number of cases where there was enough evidence and it was considered in the public interest to prosecute.
Part of a wider programme to improve the CPS's handling of cases involving violence against women and girls, it is the first report of its kind.
Mr Starmer said: "In recent years we have worked hard to dispel the damaging myths and stereotypes that are associated with these cases.
"One such misplaced belief is that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are rife. This report presents a more accurate picture. Where false allegations of rape and domestic violence do occur however, they are serious - reputations can be ruined and lives can be devastated as a result.
"Such cases will be dealt with robustly and those falsely accused should feel confident that the criminal justice system will prosecute these cases wherever there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so."
There were 5,651 prosecutions for rape for the period between January 2011 and May 2012 the study looked at, but only 35 for making false allegations of rape.
Likewise, there were 111,891 prosecutions for domestic violence, but only six for making false allegations of domestic violence. A further three people were charged with making false allegations of both rape and domestic violence.
The study found that a significant number of these cases involved "young, often vulnerable people, and sometimes even children". Around half were brought forward by people aged 21 and under, with some involving people with mental health difficulties.