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Domestic Violence

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people reported incidents of domestic abuse in each of the last three years. (304223)

Information on how many incidents of domestic abuse are reported to the police is not centrally available because it is not possible to identify cases of domestic violence reported to and recorded by the police; such offences are not specifically defined by law and details of the individual circumstances of offences are not collected.

However, the British Crime Survey (BCS), which includes crimes not reported to the police, routinely provides information on the number of incidents of domestic violence in England and Wales; that is, violent incidents perpetrated by a partner, ex-partner or family member. The 2008-09 BCS estimates 293,000 incidents of domestic violence, 343,000 in the 2007-08 BCS and 407, 000 in the 2006-07 BCS (representing a statistically significant fall between 2006-07 BCS and 2008-09 BCS). Of these incidents, the proportion where the victim reported the incident to the police was 47 per cent. in the 2008-09 BCS, 40 per cent. in 2007-08 and 44 per cent. in 2006-07 (no statistically significant change in proportions).