Fewer prosecutions in Lancashire for domestic abuse

The number of prosecutions for domestic violence in Lancashire dropped by almost a quarter in the first half of this year, compared to the same time last year.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:46 pm
Domestic violence prosecutions have dropped this year

Lancashire Constabulary recorded 332 fewer prosecutions for domestic violence between January and June this year, according to figures published under a Freedom of Information request.

Last year 1,365 people were charged with offences but this year it was 1,033.

Lancashire CPS, which makes the decision to charge people, said it could not comment as the figures, uncovered by an freedom of information request to police forces by solicitors Simpson Millar, were not its own.

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Emma Pearmaine, director of family services and chairman of domestic violence charity, Corporate Alliance, said: “In some areas, the number of prosecutions has fallen by over a third from one year to the next. We urgently need to understand why this might be to make sure victims are not suffering in silence.

“Victims of domestic violence need to know that they can come forward and ask for help from either the police, their lawyer or other support agencies for help.

“For women aged 15-44, domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury and illness and we need to make sure that the law is being applied so that they can live without fear and harassment.”

One Lancashire woman who was attacked by her partner said there needed to be provision in the courts for domestic violence victims. Her case did not make it to court as it took her several months to report the assault. She said: “The time limits are also a problem because it can take victims ages to have the courage to come forward.For the sake of your children, you try to fix it from the inside.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said the force was committed to tackling and preventing domestic abuse and works with a number of agencies to detect it.