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Domestic Abuse

Volume 639: debated on Tuesday 24 April 2018

16. What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to provide a more efficient and accountable criminal justice system for victims of domestic abuse. (904909)

Since 2010, the Government have made tackling domestic abuse an absolute priority. Last month, the Prime Minister launched the violence against women and girls strategy at No. 10, and following on from that I attended the first roadshow event, at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, to meet victims of domestic abuse and campaigners.[Official Report, 11 May 2018, Vol. 640, c. 12MC.]

Safer Places is a remarkable and extraordinary domestic violence charity in my constituency. It has highlighted the problem of the delay between domestic violence incidents being reported and finally getting to court. What are the Government doing to reduce the time between the incidents being reported and getting to court, so that the perpetrators of this evil abuse can be brought to trial more quickly?

The police response to domestic abuse has improved in recent years, and action has been taken to address the inspector of constabulary’s recommendation that domestic abuse should be a force-wide priority. The police are referring over 19,000 more cases to the Crown Prosecution Service than they were in 2010. In the courts, the listing of cases is a judicial function, and they have a responsibility to ensure that all cases are heard by an appropriate judge with the minimum of delay.