London Chief Crown Prosecutor urges victims to report domestic violence

23/12/2013

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, is urging victims and witnesses of domestic violence to report incidents so that perpetrators can be brought to justice.

Ms Ubhey said: "It may be that incidents of this type of crime do increase over this Christmas and new year period, but what is clear is that this behaviour is unacceptable at any time of year. I am convinced that a large number of these incidents do often go unreported, and I want victims and witnesses to come forward and report crimes.

"Everyone should feel safe and secure in their own home but this is often not the case when domestic violence is present. Domestic violence can often go unreported as the victim feels helpless and isnt confident in reporting the crime. Victims often suffer repeated and long-term abuse and we want them to feel safe in coming forward to help us bring their abusers to justice.

"Domestic violence is a crime often hidden behind closed doors but through supporting victims and witnesses I hope that it can be brought into the open so that offenders can be brought to justice."

CPS London successfully prosecutes hundreds of domestic violence cases, against men and women, each year working closely with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), who support victims and witnesses through the prosecution process. We also work with the police to build strong cases and in some circumstances where there is other evidence it may be possible to proceed without the victim.

Special measures can include:

  •  using screens to shield the witness from the defendant
  •  giving evidence via video link away from the court
  •  excluding members of the public from the room
  •  removal of wigs and gowns in the crown court
  •  using intermediaries for people with specific needs to facilitate communication.

CPS London has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for domestic violence cases with the Metropolitan Police. This agreement ensures that cases are dealt with in a consistent way and that CPS London and the police work together to ensure that victims of both direct and indirect domestic violence are fully supported through positive action and that offenders are brought to justice quickly. The Crown Prosecution Service also has specific policies related to domestic violence (which can be found here).