Domestic Violence going unpunished as police cuts bite

Yvette Cooper 

New figures obtained by Labour through FOI requests show the number of Domestic Violence cases across Yorkshire being handed to the CPS has fallen sharply since the last election, with fewer perpetrators being brought to justice.

 

The Freedom of Information requests, analysed by the House of Commons Library, show that the number of files/cases of Domestic Violence across Yorkshire and the Humber being handed to the CPS has fallen by over 13 per cent since 2010, after rising steadily under Labour.

 

The figures are all the more concerning because the number of incidents reported to police has actually rose in the first year of that period. 

 

Police Force Area

Percentage change in number of domestic violence incidents reported to police in 2011/12 compared with 2010/11

Percentage change in number of domestic violence cases being referred to CPS for prosecution in 2012/13 compared with 2010/11

South Yorkshire

Up 1.5%

Down 15.7%

West Yorkshire

Up 5.7%

Down 14.7%

Humberside

Up 3.7%

Down 13.3%

North Yorkshire

Down 2.2%

Down 11.8%

 

Labour has expressed the following concerns at these figures:

 

·         The Criminal Justice System is being hollowed out by this Government as the loss of officers lead to declines in cases being referred to the CPS.

 

·         After years of improvement the system is now badly failing victims of domestic violence – fewer offences are being charged and prosecuted, despite levels of domestic violence increasing.

 

·         Cuts to frontline policing have badly affected the police’s ability to investigate and bring criminals to justice.

 

·         New figures show a sharp decrease in the number of DV cases referred to the CPS by the police despite the number of incidents reported increasing.

 

·         After rising by 23 per cent between 2007-2010, there has been a 13 per cent decrease in the number of cases of domestic violence referred to the CPS by the police since 2010 in England and Wales.

 

·         It is unacceptable that violent perpetrators appear to be getting off.

 

·         We need a step change in dealing with this hidden crime

  

Angela Smith, MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge, said:

 

“In South Yorkshire, there has been a 15.7 per cent decrease in the number of cases of domestic violence being handed to the CPS since 2010, despite the number of incidents being reported to police increasing.

 

“Quite frankly, it is unacceptable that in Penistone and Stocksbridge and across our country violent perpetrators appear to be getting off. We need to see some real action: zero tolerance to domestic violence, new national standards for police training as well as support for victims.”

 

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

 

“These are shocking and disturbing figures.

“Theresa May claimed in 2010 she was pursuing a ‘unique opportunity to bring about real change’ on domestic violence. Instead these figures show things have gone backwards and she is failing badly. 

“Domestic Violence cases reported to the police have increased by nearly 10 per cent. Yet at the same time the vast majority of police forces have cut the number of cases they refer for prosecution by 20 per cent. That means one in five perpetrators who would previously have been charged are now getting away with it.

“And this big drop in referrals has all happened since cuts to front line policing started. Referrals and prosecutions were going up before the election. But now, fewer police officers are referring fewer domestic violence cases for prosecution and victims are being let down as a result.

“The Home Secretary has cut front line policing and now we are seeing the consequences. And she has failed to set out a strategy to make sure action on domestic violence isn't cut as a result. Simply asking the Inspectorate to look at domestic violence three years later is too little too late. The Home Secretary is hollowing out the police service and victims of crime are suffering as a result.
 
“We need a step change in dealing with domestic abuse, with new national standards for police training, support for victims and action to pursue offenders.

 

“And we need to start addressing young people’s attitudes to relationships, including zero-tolerance of abuse.”

 

 

Do you like this page?

Reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Liquid syntax error: Error in tag 'subpage' - No such page slug cookies