Only 40% of domestic abuse reports are crimes say the Police

Family|December 8th 2016

Just four in every ten reports of domestic violence recorded by the Police involved crimes, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

In a brand new statistical bulletin, the ONS cites 1.03 million reports of domestic abuse made to the Police in the year to March. But, it noted, when officers investigated they concluded that only 41 per cent, or 421,000, had involved an actual criminal offence. Nevertheless, such crimes made up around one in ten of all crimes reported.

No less than 1.8 million people between the ages of 16 and 59 reported domestic violence over the 12 months in question. Unsurprising, said the ONS, “women were more likely to report having experienced domestic abuse than men.”

When reports of domestic abuse were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the Police, the Service decided to file charges around 70 per cent of the time, and approximately 75 per cent of these resulted in convictions. In nearly 70 of these cases, meanwhile, the individual who had been charged pleaded guilty.

More than half the cases which failed to reach a conviction did so because the alleged victim withdrew their complaint, did not attend or court or otherwise failed to cooperate.

In 22 per cent of cases, defendants were acquitted.

Read more here.

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  1. lucy says:

    Would part of this be explained because the police manipulate statistics by downgrading incidents and no criming even offence such as rape.

  2. Jo Archer says:

    Has anyone tried to report a crime, recently? I was given a number to ring, which was constantly engaged, so I reported it online via the ActionFraud website, received an automated response immediately (which included a Crime Reference Number) and heard no more for five months!

    Eventually, I took it up with a local policeman who was familiar with my story and whose superior decided did not involve a crime, despite my having quoted the relevant legislation to them (Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act – which was all over the news this time, last year), chapter and verse, and even sending them links to their own website and that of the College of Policing:

    Stalking and Harassment

    Domestic Abuse

    So these statistics do not surprise me in the least. I just wonder how physically serious the abuse must be for this 40% (of what, precisely?) for our under-resourced (and, therefore, under-trained) police men and women to follow it up.

  3. Jo Archer says:

    And this is the link to the actual report, as opposed to the data…

    My first question would be, ‘What is being measured?’ Well, it is obvious from the start (to a highly-trained Rsearch Engineer, well-used to interpreting statistics, properly) that the mere reporting of an incident does not qualify;

    ‘If it is clear when the domestic abuse incident is reported that the incident involved an offence, the police may record the incident as a crime immediately without first recording the incident as a starting point.’ Or they may not (my comment).

    ‘This will depend on the local processes of police forces, the nature of each call and its urgency and the needs of each victim. Some reports will initially be recorded as incidents and later converted to a crime record following an investigation.’ So, despite National Guidelines, it is a postcode lottery (my sarky comment, again.) The ‘investigation’ can be as cursory as someone in a call centre unilaterally deciding not to proceed, without consulting the victim, nay even informing them!

    Also worth noting that:

    ‘On 29 December 2015 the government introduced a new criminal offence of “coercive and controlling behaviour”. The new law captures coercive control through psychological and emotional abuse that falls short of physical violence3. As this offence has been in place for less than a year, this report does not provide any data on the number of these offences or how they have been dealt with in the criminal justice system, but this information will be provided in future publications.’

    Presumeably, this won’t include my experience of crime, despite the lengths to which I have gone to show that it IS a legitimate offence. Unsurprisingly, our local police staton was closed soon afterwards and turnedinto student flat- far more profitable (to someone) than English Justice! It is very hard not to sound cynical these days, but the facts speak for themselves.

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