London has the lowest UK rate of rape cases reaching conviction once brought to court, new figures reveal.
Conviction rates in the capital have been rising over previous years. But in 2012 the rate dropped to 51.8% from 58.5% the previous year.
The next lowest are Wessex and the South-east with 56.7% and 57.4% and the highest is Merseyside and Cheshire with 71.8%.
It is a similarly poor picture for domestic violence in London, which is down from 63.3% to 63.7%, and child abuse 68.5% to 67.7% from 2012 to 2013.
However the conviction rate in London for human trafficking cases, which tend to involve women and girls, rose from 615 to 75.5% in the same period.
Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry unearthed the figures through Parliamentary questions, asking the Attorney General Dominic Grieve to provide the specific statistics.
She said London’s prosecutors are “desperately overstretched”.
But she stressed that violence against women and girls is meant to be a priority for the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The conviction rates for violence against women and girls in our capital are the worst in the country,” she said.
“The largest and busiest division of the CPS is desperately overstretched. The protection of London’s women and children should be a priority for this Government. It is a question of leadership”.