Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner is backing a proposal to publish more domestic and sexual violence data to drive up standards across the criminal justice system.
Tony Lloyd was speaking as the plans were unveiled by the Shadow Home Secretary to set out more detailed information on both police performance – recording, arrests and referrals to the CPS for charging – and CPS performance – prosecutions and convictions – for domestic abuse and rape.
“I welcome these proposals. It’s very important that the criminal justice system gets this right. All too often victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have been let down by the system.
“Ultimately the voice of the victim must be heard, and the needs of those who have suffered be placed at the heart of the entire criminal justice system. This proposal will help demonstrate accountability, but will also make it much easier to share best practice.
“We have to get this right – it affects too many people and has far too high a cost on our society.” Tony Lloyd
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has also proposed the creation of a commissioner who will look at the issue of violence against women and girls, who would have a similar role to the Children’s Commissioner.
As well as the devastating impact sexual and domestic violence has on men, women and families across the country, there is also a significant financial cost to this type of crime. The Centre for Social Justice, has said that domestic abuse costs the taxpayer almost £4bn per year. When human and emotional costs and lost economic outputs are aggregated the cost to society climbs to £15.7bn annually.
According to the Office of National Statistics, an estimated 1.2 million women and 700,000 men were victims of domestic abuse in the last year, with 30% of women and 16% having experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16.
In Greater Manchester, nearly 60,000 reports of domestic abuse were received by police, although it is believed to be the tip of the iceberg. Research issued last week revealed that nearly half of all women in the UK had experienced some form of domestic abuse.