The findings of the 2013/14 CPS Violence against Women and Girls Crime Report were released ahead of a speech by Ms Saunders today at the Women’s Aid national conference in Birmingham. She said: “Three quarters of people who are prosecuted for domestic violence offences are now convicted. What’s more, nine in ten of the domestic violence convictions arise from guilty pleas meaning that the vast majority of victims are spared having to give evidence in court. “I hope victims of these terrible offences will take some confidence from this, and that perpetrators will take note.
“I am incredibly proud of what the CPS has achieved in recent years in tackling violence against women and girls. Taken as a whole, referrals from police are up, prosecutions are up, and convictions are up.” According to Sandra Horley, Chief Exec of domestic vioelence charity Refuge said the CPS has made ‘much-needed progress’ under Ms Saunder’s leadership. Crime prevention minister Norman Baker said: “I hope that the increase in the conviction rate for domestic violence will give victims of these terrible crimes greater confidence to come forward.” Nearly £40 million will be set aside for specialist local support services and national helplines for victim support along with the national roll-out of Clare’s Law, the domestic violence disclosure scheme to try and protect victims. Norman Baker also noted that there was an oversight group looking to implement He noted Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary’s (HMIC) recommendations on improving the police response to domestic abuse. The report reveals:
- The volume of convictions for sexual offences excluding rape reached the highest ever volume at 6,756, a rise of 13% from the year before.
- The volume of child abuse prosecutions reached 7,998 – a rise of 440 (5.8%) since 2012-13. /li>
- The volume of convictions in the overall child abuse cases from 5,755 in 2012-13 to 6,096 in 2013-14 (from 76.1% convicted in 2012-13 to 76.2% in 2013-14).
- The volume of forced marriage referrals from the police rose to 67 in 2013-14 – from 59 in 2012-13. A total of 42 (62.7%) of these were charged, the highest number on record.
- The volume of referrals from the police of honour based violence and related offences rose to 240 in 2013-14 – from 230 in 2012-13. One hundred and fifty eight (65.8%) of these referrals were charged, the highest volume and proportion recorded.
- In 2013-14 there was a rise in the prosecution of child abuse images from 18,937 to 20,373.
- The volume of human trafficking referrals from the police rose to 171 in 2013-14 – a rise of 30.5% from 131 referrals in 2012-13.