Domestic Violence: Homicide

Home Department written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) how many homicide reviews have been carried out in England and Wales in each of the last three years; and in how many such cases was there evidence of domestic abuse or violence prior to such a homicide;

(2) what guidance has been given to police and crime commissioners on the priority that should be given to crimes involving domestic abuse or violence.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Minister of State, Home Department

holding answer 9 January 2014

Since the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews in April 2011 we have had 169 notifications (75 notifications in the financial year 2011-12, and 94 notifications in the financial year 2012-13) that a review is being conducted.

We do not centrally collate the information requested on how many of those cases showed evidence of prior domestic abuse in the relationship as it is difficult to isolate individual factors from the complex range of circumstances that precede a domestic homicide.

However, according to the 2010/11 Crime Survey for England and Wales, 30% of the victims of partner abuse were victimised more than once in the last year (22% were victimised three or more times). However, as around a half (51%) of victims either chose not to answer this question or did not know how many times they had been victimised, this should be treated with caution.

The coalition Government's approach to tackling domestic violence and abuse is set out in its Violence against Women and Girls Action Plan 2013. The Government recognise that domestic violence and abuse is not a problem that can be resolved with national action alone but one which requires concerted, joined-up working at a local level. That is why in August 2013, the Home Office published an information pack for Police and Crime Commissioners outlining the importance of tackling domestic violence and abuse, how to understand these issues better, and to prevent further violence.

The Home Office also held an event for Police and Crime Commissioners in November 2013 to discuss the challenges involved in tackling sexual and domestic violence and how to galvanise an effective local response.

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