Domestic abuse crimes double in six years
Domestic abuse crimes more than doubled in the Northumbria Police area over the last six years – with tens of thousands recorded during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.
Home Office data shows 25,416 offences were recorded by Northumbria Police in 2020-21 - 20% of all offences recorded – but the area has also seen a 149% rise in domestic abuse since 10,209 were logged in 2015-16, when records began.
Nationally 850,000 such crimes were reported to police last year – and while rates for many other crimes dropped during a year that included coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns, domestic abuse rose by six per cent.
Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women's Aid, said: "Women will not report domestic abuse if they aren’t confident they will be believed and action will be taken on their behalf."
The figures show just eight per cent of cases concluded nationally last year resulting in a charge or summons.
Ms Nazeer said work is needed to restore faith in policing after more than three quarters of investigations were dropped – more than half because the victim pulled out of the investigation.
The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for domestic abuse, assistant commissioner Louisa Rolfe, said forces can still pursue keep victims safe, even when they are reluctant to support prosecution and called for a multi-agency approach to provide effective and sustainable support and solutions.
A Home Office spokeswoman said the Government is committed to ending violence against women and girls, and said its ‘landmark’ Domestic Abuse Act would improve victim support and strengthen legislation.