Domestic abuse prosecutions in London increase and new guidelines are introduced

05/01/2015

The number of domestic abuse prosecutions in London is expected to have risen by over 2,000 by the end of the financial year. The Crown Prosecution Service has published new guidelines to help deal effectively with the increase in cases in London and across the country.

In London, in the year 2012/13 there were 8,787 prosecutions for domestic abuse. Current projections expect that figure to increase to over 11,000 by the end of this financial year.

At the same time, conviction rates have increased in London from 61.7% in 2012/13 to 65.2% in 2013/14. As a result London is likely to see around 1,900 more convictions of DV related offences by the end of 2014/15 than two years ago.

As referrals and prosecutions rise, the updated guidance sets out handling on all aspects of domestic abuse offending including the many ways in which abusers can control, coerce and psychologically abuse their victims and reminds prosecutors that domestic abuse occurs in all communities and to both sexes.  It also recognises that there is no such thing as the 'perfect' victim.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for London Baljit Ubhey said: "Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority in London and I welcome these new guidelines which will help support our prosecutors who are dealing with an increasing number of these cases.

"Domestic abuse cases are often challenging and these guidelines put victims at the centre of our work. The projected figures have reinforced how important it is that we have robust systems and processes in place to effectively prosecute these cases and support victims. CPS London now has a dedicated team dealing with all domestic abuse cases in the Magistrates' Courts and this focused approach is having a positive impact on our conviction rate. We have also recently introduced a new system with one team dealing with our Crown Court domestic abuse cases.

"This focused approach, coupled with the new guidelines, should give victims confidence that we will strive to ensure justice is delivered."


Background

The full press release on the new guidelines from the Director of Public Prosecutions can be found here.