News and Comments

Joint inspectorate report on evidence led domestic abuse prosecutions

MA Comment

24 January 2020
Joint inspectorate report on evidence led domestic abuse prosecutions

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have published a joint report on evidence led domestic abuse cases. The report finds that the handling of evidence led domestic abuse prosecutions requires improvement and that there are currently no mechanisms in place to measure the effectiveness of such prosecutions or to determine where an evidence led approach may be more effective, preventing the sharing of good practice across the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Commenting on the report, John Bache JP, National Chair of the Magistrates Association, said:

 "The MA welcomes this important report, and the recognition that domestic abuse is a key priority area of work for both the police and CPS. It is vital that sufficient time and resource is given to collecting robust evidence which can support domestic abuse prosecutions, especially where the courts rely on this evidence to ensure perpetrators are held to account when victims do not support a prosecution.

 "We also welcome the proposal that specific approaches are put in place to deal with these cases, as well as processes allowing police and the CPS to learn from examples of good practice to improve consistency across all areas on this issue.  

"There are good reasons why victims may not support prosecutions, including fear of reprisals, and this should not prevent justice being done."

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