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Domestic Abuse Commissioner sees ‘a very worrying trend’ for victims in latest CPS figures

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, has said that the latest CPS figures show a very worrying trend for domestic abuse victims. She added that the figures released show that 'we are going in entirely the wrong direction for victims when it comes to the criminal justice system'.

The figures show that the volume of referrals from police to the CPS are down again to 67,703 in 2021/22 compared to 77,812 in 2020/21. There has been a 47 per cent decrease in the volume of referrals compared to 2014/15. Ms Jacobs said that there is quite clearly a problem that is not linked to Covid and needs urgently addressing.

The figures show the average waiting time between first submission by the police to the CPS and the decision to charge has continued to increase, rising to nearly an additional seven days from 21 days in quarter one 2021/22 to 27.7 days in quarter four of the same year. She said:

'These long waits put an enormous amount of stress and pressure on domestic abuse victims and in many cases, will lead to victims dropping out of the process.'

The Commissioner was also worried to see the volume of suspects charged continues to drop. Despite a small increase on the previous quarter, the volume of suspects charged during 2021/22 is 48,836 which has reduced since the previous year when 50,838 suspects were charged. Even more worryingly, in the view of the Commissioner,  there has been a 42 per cent decrease since 2014/15 when 84,711 suspects were charged for domestic abuse flagged offences.

For the Domestic Abuse Commissioner's full statement, click here. For the CPS figures, click here.