POLICE AND PROSECUTORS have defended their track record on domestic abuse as an investigation from the YEP reveals a huge rise in cases the region - and how around one in every five cases are dropped by prosecutors.
Figures obtained under Freedom of Information requests show that the number of incidents referred to the Crown Prosecution Service in Yorkshire and the Humber last year was 11,131, compared with 9,760 five years ago.
West Yorkshire Police, the decision to take ‘no further action’ occurred in 17.3 per cent of the 5,477 for what it describes as evidential or public interest reasons.
State agencies have been accused of letting victims down at every stage, and today victims’ charity Refuge has called for a national inquiry into the problem.
Assistant chief constable Russ Foster, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Every report of domestic abuse is attended by a Police Officer and where appropriate a crime is recorded, investigated and the victim safeguarded. We have a policy of positive action against perpetrators and where justified an arrest will be made.
“Approximately half of all crimes result in a positive disposal, which is comparable with other most similar sized forces.”
The CPS’ budget has been cut by 25 per cent since 2010. A spokesman said that despite the increased financial pressures, the service does not make charging decisions based on financial reasons, except for in “very limited circumstances”.
Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley CBE said: “We know a huge number of domestic violence cases never even reach the police and therefore the courts. Many women are simply too frightened to come forward. Women who are brave enough to report their experiences to the police are often disbelieved, ignored and denied protection.”