Domestic abuse cases dropped by police doubles
19 October 2021 by Lucie Wilkinson
Recent figures show that the number of domestic abuse cases abandoned by the police have more than doubled in the last four years.
Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional’.
Currently, the police have six months to charge common assault, which includes domestic abuse, from when the alleged incident took place. Latest figures show that many of these reports ‘timed out’ because the police failed to meet the six month deadline. Figures increased from 1,451 reports being timed out in 2016-17 to 3,763 reports in 2020-21.
Over the last five years, 12,982 cases have ended because of this six month limit being exceeded. This means that reports from victims of domestic abuse were effectively abandoned. The six month limit placed upon the police has been described as “unjust”. A government spokesperson said “all allegations should be investigated and pursed rigorously through the courts where possible, and there is no time limit on reporting crimes such as bodily harm or those that add up to coercive behaviour.”
Our Domestic Violence team at Fisher Jones Greenwood have considerable experience in providing advice and guidance to victims of domestic abuse. This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining an order from the family court to protect you. If you would like a confidential chat with one of our solicitors within our Domestic Violence team, please call 01206 700113 or email [email protected].
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