Rape victims will no longer have to suffer the ordeal of testifying in court, due to new Government reforms.
The new scheme will prevent the victims of sex crimes being subjected to further trauma, and will stop the survivors from coming into contact with perpetrators in the pressurised environment of a court room.
Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
Attitudes to sex crimes and victims have changed beyond all recognition in our lifetime, and rape prosecutions are now at record levels.
With more victims now finding the confidence to come forward, I am determined to make their path to justice swifter and less traumatic.
This will not reduce the right to a fair trial, but will make sure victims of these abhorrent crimes are protected and able provide their best possible evidence.
A pilot of the new scheme showed that victims of sex offences felt less pressure during a prerecorded cross-examination and were subsequently better able to recall events.
The reform was not scheduled to roll out until the beginning of next year but its initiation has been brought forward to September following an agreement with senior judges.
Ms Truss also announced a crack down on paedophiles who groom children online and a new offence of ‘sexual communication with a child’ will come into force next month, carrying a maximum two-year prison sentence with those convicted automatically being placed on the sex offenders register.