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Violence Against Women Strategy and Action Plans

Annex B - Equality and Diversity Data to Inform Impact Assessment

Domestic violence

  • 95% of domestic violence defendants were men.
  • From April - September 2006-07, homicide data indicated that there were 76 defendants during April - September 2006-07 of which 87% were men. [Note: Homicide data in CPS includes murders, attempted murders, threats or conspiracy to murder, manslaughter and causing death by aggravated vehicle taking.]
  • There were 2,740 harassment offences recorded.
  • The position in relation to ethnicity is more complex. Home Office data shows Black and Asian suspects for all crimes are arrested more than their representation in the population as a whole. Similarly Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnicity defendants were represented in higher proportions of those charged in 2006-07 and those cases completed in April 2006-September 2006, in comparison with the population.
  • The CPS 2006-07 charging data shows that proportionally fewer Black (57.5%) and Asian (55%) suspects were charged compared with White suspects (59.6%). There was also a higher percentage of successful outcomes with White defendants than for Black, Asian or Mixed ethnicity defendants.
  • However, as outlined above, all ethnicity data needs to be treated with caution.
  • Victim gender is poorly recorded, but, where recorded, just under 90% of victims were women. [Note: Victim data can be collected on COMPASS Case Management System (CMS) or Witness Management System (WMS). Currently the recording is low. Areas have been asked to reach local area agreements as to who should be responsible for entering victim data, either the CPS or the WCUs. In some Areas this may be a joint responsibility. It should be noted that the majority of WCU staff are police employees and cannot therefore be mandated to record this information on behalf of the CPS. Information for WMS is mainly collected from cases in which a not guilty plea has been entered and where the Witness Care Officer is the single point of contact for the victim, therefore some DV data will not be collected. The domestic violence team is working with the Victim and Witness Care Delivery Unit to address this and develop systems that will help to improve the data collection and quality.]

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Rape and sexual offences

  • The gender breakdown of defendants for rape and sexual assaults shows that men were responsible for 99% of rape and 96% of sexual offence.
  • For April - June 2006, 53% of men were successfully prosecuted for rape compared with 67% for other sexual offences.
  • Few women were prosecuted for rape; of those prosecuted for other sexual offences, 73% pleaded guilty.
  • Ethnicity was not recorded for 12% of cases. Where it was recorded, there was a lower proportion of White offenders than in the population as a whole, and a higher proportion of Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnicity offenders. Similar to the domestic violence data, there was also a higher percentage of successful outcomes with White defendants than for Black, Asian or Mixed Ethnicity defendants. However, as outlined above, all ethnicity data needs to be treated with caution.
  • The gender breakdown of victims of rape shows only 31% of cases had gender recorded, and, of those with recorded gender, 89% of victims were women. [Note: Ibid.]

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Child abuse

  • 98% of child abuse sexual offence cases were perpetrated by men.
  • There were 10 homicides: 8 of the 10 defendants were men and 7 were successfully prosecuted.
  • Men were responsible for 75% of cases involving offences against the person. There were no differences between the genders in the outcomes of those prosecuted.
  • The breakdown for victims of child abuse showed that only 31% of cases had recorded gender. Of these, 67% were girls.
  • Ethnicity was not recorded in 9% of cases. For child sexual abuse cases where ethnicity was recorded, there was a higher percentage of White defendants and lower percentages of Black and Asian defendants compared with the population. Successful outcome patterns were similar to those for domestic violence and rape cases. However, as outlined above, all ethnicity data needs to be treated with caution.
  • Victim gender is poorly recorded, but where recorded, 67% of victims were girls. [Note: Ibid.]

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Trafficking and prostitution

  • Trafficking and prostitution data is currently only available from the "offences" database, which is separate and distinct from the "defendant" data base that records the profile of defendants and victims as well as outcomes. There is therefore no breakdown of gender or ethnicity currently available within CPS. Limited data below has been secured from the Home Office.
  • On 15 January 2007, the Home Secretary responded to a question on the link between domestic violence and trafficking of women, stating that Operation Pentameter - a three month national enforcement operation - identified 87 potential victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, 12 of whom were minors or children (Hansard). Margaret Moran MP noted that in the Ukraine it is estimated that 50% of people who are trafficked had suffered from domestic violence.
  • Home Office data confirms that 182 defendants were sentenced for trafficking-related offences in 2005, of which 12 were linked to sexual offences. This data is not broken down by gender.
  • Between March 2003 and June 2007, the POPPY project had 674 referrals of women who have been or who claim they have been trafficked for sexual exploitation. Of these, 145 were provided with accommodation and support, and 74 received an outreach service.
  • Home Office statistics from 2005 show that 269 men were cautioned (and one woman) for kerb crawling; 42 men were cautioned for soliciting of women and 23 men for soliciting of men. No women were cautioned. 629 men and 6 women were convicted for kerb crawling; and 36 men were convicted for soliciting. In 2006, 332 offences were recorded. [Note: The 2006 statistics provided to the CPS by the Home Office were not broken down by gender. The 2005 figures are used to illustrate the gender breakdown of these figures.]

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Women offender data

  • The Corston Report 2007 indicated that women with histories of violence and abuse are over-represented in the criminal justice system and often can be described as victims as well as offenders. The report also indicates that relationship problems feature strongly in women's pathways to crime and many women in prison had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused.
  • The Corston Report noted that one in three women in prison had suffered sexual abuse, compared with one in ten men.
  • A survey carried out in Her Majesty's Prisons, revealed that nearly half of the women interviewed had experienced domestic violence, and a third sexual assault [Note: Social Exclusion Unit (2002) Reducing re-offending by ex-prisoners, London: Social Exclusion Unit.]. It was also noted that this figure was similar to a survey carried out in Holloway Prison, where 36% of women disclosed experience of sexual abuse in childhood and 45% had experienced physical abuse.

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Forced marriage, so-called honour crimes and female genital mutilation

  • In June 2007, CPS pilots were set up in four CPS Areas to flag cases of forced marriage and so-called honour crimes. The pilots aim to improve prosecutions and support for victims and will help quantify the gender dynamics in these crimes. National data indicates that in line with all domestic abuse, the majority of defendants are men and victims are women. No cases of FGM have yet been prosecuted, although a number of cases have been investigated by the police. [Note: Lancashire, London, West Midlands and West Yorkshire]

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Crimes against the older person

  • Some "crimes against the older person" are included within the VAW strategy because of the overlap with other VAW crimes such as domestic violence. It is recognised that the main focus of these crimes is age rather than gender. The majority of older people are women and therefore more women are likely to be victims of crimes against the older person. The research indicates that there can be an overlap with domestic violence - for example, it could be domestic violence that has continued for decades or abuse of elders by their carers who are also partners or family members. As the policy is currently being developed no CPS data is yet available.

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Obscene publications and sexual harassment

  • No data has yet been collected in relation to these issues.

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