Letter: For the prosecution

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is paradoxical that Crown Prosecution Service proposals strengthening the rights of vulnerable victims are challenged by Liberty ("Civil rights fears over CPS reform", 9 August).

From research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, about victims with learning disabilities, I criticised CPS practice, particularly concerning non-prosecution of so-called "minor" offences. Significant improvements have since been made. But the CPS can still, in effect, act as judge and jury and block cases because of a "low likelihood of conviction".

This often stems from a false belief that people with mental disabilities are poor witnesses. The new CPS proposals could overcome this final hurdle, and should be welcomed.

Dr CHRIS WILLLIAMS

Institute of Education

University of London

London W1

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