FOI reveals rising number of domestic abuse cases in Cambridgeshire

Domestic abuse
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The number of incidents of domestic abuse reported to Cambridgeshire Police has again seen an increase year on year.

A Freedom of Information Act request to Cambridgeshire Police revealed that between 1 January and 30 June 2016, complaints of domestic violence were recorded against 2,782 perpetrators compared with 2,270 between 1 January 2015 and 30 June 2015.

DI Ben Newton said that between January and June 2016, 579 people had been charged in relation to domestic abuse and 27 summoned to court compared with 550 charges for crimes relating to domestic abuse in the corresponding period in 2015 and 53 summons to court.

This also resulted in an increase in cautions being given for domestic abuse, up from 92 cautions in the first six months of 2015 to 147 cases in 2016.

The figures, obtained through Freedom of Information to 31 police forces in England and Wales, show significant variations in levels of prosecutions across forces with more than half recording a fall in domestic violence prosecutions.

Overall, 2,820 fewer people were charged with domestic violence offences in the first half of 2016 compared with that same period in 2015 – reversing previous years’ trends.

Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services at Simpson Millar has actively campaigned on the issue of domestic violence since 2012.

She said: “For several years we have seen a steady rise in domestic violence prosecutions which was largely attributed to an increase in public awareness and a change in the attitude within police forces to pro-actively tackle these cases.”

Emma added: “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. But I fear that fewer people now feel and understand that help is within reach.

“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.”