Domestic violence prosecutions in London have fallen in the last four years, a new report has claimed.
This drop occurred despite a six per cent increase in the number of domestic violence reports last year, reports the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.
In the 12 months to September 2016, there were more than 150,000 incidents of domestic violence in London alone. Additionally, there were more than 17,000 sexual offences and almost 6,000 rapes. But only 28 per cent of domestic violence cases made it as far as a charge or a caution, the Evening Standard reports. This represents a significant drop from four years ago, when 41 per cent of cases resulted in a prosecution.
The Committee claimed the fall was the result of extra pressure on police. With an increase in the number of reports, officers are struggling to keep pace, they said.
By contrast, the proportion of sexual violence prosecutions is on the rise. In 2012, charges were brought forward in just ten per cent of cases. This year that number rose to 16 per cent of all cases in London.
Reports of domestic abuse and sexual violence within the household have increased by around 11 per cent each year, the Committee’s report found.
Conservative Party Assembly Member Steve O’Connell is chairman of the Committee. He said “the rise in reporting [domestic violence] should be seen as a success — as more victims gain confidence to come forward”.
However, he warned there was “a risk that this confidence will be lost if the resources available do not meet demand” and could potentially undermine victims’ faith in the police to help them.