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Domestic Violence

Volume 535: debated on Tuesday 15 November 2011

8. What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of multi-agency risk assessment conferences in improving domestic violence prosecutions. (80652)

I have not made any recent assessment of the effectiveness of multi-agency risk assessment conferences in improving domestic violence prosecutions. The most recent assessment, which the Home Office published in July, found that such conferences had the potential to improve victim safety and to reduce repeat victimisation, but that a more robust evaluation would be required. We see multi-agency working as a key component of the Crown Prosecution Service’s work to improve prosecutions in that area and to support victims, and we will continue to work with the Home Office on the matter.

Earlier this year the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General visited Gwent police’s Onyx unit, which they declared to be one of the best in the country at delivering substantial change in the conviction rates for domestic violence and rape. The Attorney-General has repeatedly acknowledged the role that those services play, but can he confirm that he and the CPS are actively monitoring the impact of the cuts on them?

Yes, I can confirm that the CPS has very much in mind whether any areas of savings that may be made might have an adverse impact on the service that is provided to victims of violence against women and of domestic violence. My information is that the CPS does not believe that its own work has been in any way undermined or lessened by such measures. That service remains one of its high priorities, and it is a high priority for us as Law Officers as well.