Domestic Abuse: Prosecutions

Home Office written question – answered on 1st July 2021.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of domestic abuse cases that have not been prosecuted as a result of the six-month time limit for common assault as a summary-only offence having elapsed in each year since 2015.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Home Office collects data on domestic abuse related offences, and on the outcomes on offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. Data is not available for all forces but the proportion of domestic abuse flagged offences that have the outcome OC17: Prosecution time limit expired is published for selected forces who provide data to HO.

2018/19 and 2019/20 - Domestic abuse and the criminal justice system – Appendix tables - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk) , Table 3

2015/16 - 2017/18 - Domestic abuse in England and Wales - Appendix tables - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk) , Table 19

We are aware that there is a concern that some victims of domestic abuse may be losing access to justice since by the time they come forward with allegations of assault, the time limit for prosecution of such cases is up. We are gathering data about such incidents and if analysis suggests that action is needed, we will seek to address it as appropriate.

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