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Domestic Abuse

Volume 650: debated on Monday 3 December 2018

4. What assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the November 2018 Office for National Statistics report on domestic abuse in England and Wales. (907954)

We know that high-quality, insightful data is critical to tackling domestic abuse. We are using the domestic abuse statistical bulletin and the 3,200 responses to the domestic abuse consultation to develop an ambitious package of action to transform the Government’s response to domestic abuse, which will include the publication of the draft domestic abuse Bill in this Session.

Last week, in St Helens, a mother of two young children was stabbed to death in her own home. Although domestic abuse-related crime recorded by the police has increased by 23% in the last year, worryingly, in the same period, the number of prosecutions pursued has fallen not insignificantly. What is the Minister doing to ensure that the increasing number of victims who come forward, showing incredible bravery, can be confident that, in doing so, it will lead to their perpetrator’s conviction?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising this. We are, of course, pleased that more victims are trusting the system and coming forward to report abuse. I am obviously very sorry to hear of the terrible case in his constituency. Interestingly, from the bulletin, we know that 77% of all referrals made to the CPS by his local constabulary have resulted in charges, which is higher than the national average, and 80% of all such prosecutions resulted in a conviction, which is again higher than the national average. But, of course, part of the purpose of the draft domestic violence and abuse Bill and the package of non-legislative measures is to ensure that everyone, both inside and outside the criminal justice system, knows what domestic abuse is and how we should tackle it.