I welcome the action taken by the Metropolitan police and other forces in response to increased public concern about domestic violence. There are now 15 specialist police units in London that investigate alleged offences and offer practical help to victims. We are also looking at policy and practice in the light of the findings of recently published Home Office research, and are asking other Departments to do the same.
Following the report of the Home Department that half a million wives are beaten violently by their husbands each year, will the Department now launch a national campaign to highlight that problem? Will the right hon. Gentleman instruct police officers to take appropriate and firm action in every case of domestic violence?
The hon. Gentleman will know that the attitude of the police to that problem has changed substantially. In the old days, the police were reluctant to become involved when they heard a shindig or a fracas. Today, they are encouraged and trained to become involved. If they cannot deal with the situation themselves, they bring in other agencies. As that is already happening in London and elsewhere, there is no need to launch a campaign.