Reports of domestic violence rise, but convictions drop

Norman BakerThe Guardian reveals that the proportion of domestic violence cases that are being referred by the police to prosecutors has dropped from 12.1% in 2009/2010 to 10.5% in 2012/2013, even though the number of cases reported to the police had risen.

According to the House of Commons Library, more than 838,000 reports of domestic violence were made to police forces across England and Wales in 2012/2013, but only 6.3% resulted in a conviction, compared to 7.1% in 2009/2010.

Norman Baker, who is the Crime Prevention Minister said:

More victims are coming forward to talk about rape and domestic violence and I am determined to improve the response at every point in the criminal justice system to address these horrific and inexcusable acts.

There have already been improvements – sentences for rapists are increasing and the latest data from the Crown Prosecution Service shows the highest ever conviction rate for violence against women and girls.

The coalition government has commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate how all police forces in England and Wales respond to domestic abuse. I have also held discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions, who has agreed to establish a CPS-police scrutiny panel to look at how forces deal with rape.

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  • Simon Banks 14th Mar '14 - 9:05am

    Before we reach firm conclusions about this, it’s worth thinking straight about what has been reported. The PROPORTION of cases referred by the police to prosecutors has dropped. The NUMBER of cases reported to police has increased. This is exactly what you’d expect if more people were reporting and the response of police had not changed. It’s likely that an increase in reporting will include a higher proportion of cases that are low-level or questionable or obviously difficult to prove. The same is likely to happen with other under-reported crimes such as racial or sexual harassment.

    I strongly suspect that the police response could improve and there are tragic cases in several areas to show this. But the two statements above do not prove it.

  • As a trustee of Herts County Helpline, and a member of the Constabulary Strategic Board, I welcome any increase in reporting of DV offences which is to be applauded and encouraged. We want victims to come forward. However, prosecution is not always the best option when dealing with offenders and on occasions the victim does not want her/his partner ‘banged up’ – but to stop. That is why efforts are being put into finding the best way of dealing with this horrendous crime particularly where children are involved. Having said that, it is true the police and CPS record on DV varies across the country so we have to ensure that ‘the best’ is given the widest publicity and encouragement.

  • My daughters ex partner will not leave her alone, he even met her from work to make sure she was not with another man. 3 days ago he tried to strangle her. he had to be fetched to the police station as he failed to turn up. He was let off because he said he did it in self defence when my daughter threatened him with a knife. My daughter was so upset, they told her they could not prevent him coming to the house or stop him from contacting her through calls or texting, (he sends texts day & night, follows her around, calls at the house yet because he lied he has got off scot free leaving my daughter feeling frightened & helpless.

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