ape prosecution numbers have been “far too low” in recent years, the Policing Minister admitted on Thursday.
Chris Philp said there was “no question” that the way serious sex crimes are investigated needed to be improved.
He was questioned about three women who have announced plans to sue notorious social media influencer Andrew Tate for damages over allegations he abused them. They claim British detectives failed to investigate properly when they first made complaints eight years ago.
Mr Tate, who is under house arrest in Romania where police are probing suspected human trafficking, rape and sexual exploitation of women there, vehemently denied the UK allegations.
Mr Philp said he could not comment on individual cases.
“However, the way that rape cases are investigated is being significantly improved because over recent years the level of rape prosecutions and convictions has been far too low,” he told Sky News. “There is no question about that.”
Just one in 40 adult rapes investigated by police in England and Wales last year led to a criminal charge or summons, data shows.
Mr Philp said Operation Soteria, a police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) programme that developed new ways of investigation and prosecuting rape, would be rolled out across the country in June.
But large numbers of victims are already abandoning their fight for justice over the slow progress of investigations and court delays, Ministry of Justice figures revealed earlier this year.
It takes an average of 346 days from a rape being reported to police to a charge being brought and then another 337 days for a case to be completed once it reaches court.
The Labour Party has planned a series of controversial attack ads that blame Rishi Sunak personally for effectively “decriminalising” rape because of the minuscule number of convictions.
The strategy has sparked a backlash from some commentators and party figures after one campaign poster claimed the Prime Minister does not think child sex abusers should go to prison.
Shadow Policing Minister Sarah Jones said: “The Conservative record on investigating and charging rape is appalling, and their pathetic ambition to see prosecutions double to just three for every 100 rapes is an insult to victims.
“Labour has been calling for operation Soteria to be rolled out more widely for months. Victims have been let down by this Government’s failure to act.
“Labour has a comprehensive plan to put rape and specialist sexual offence units in every police force to ensure that every victim gets the specialist help they need.”
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael MP said: “Operation Soteria is a long-overdue chance to increase rape prosecutions, but the Conservatives must not let its promise ring hollow. That means providing the funding and cooperation needed, and facilitating its roll-out across the country.”