Concern over domestic abuse convictions in South Yorkshire

Domestic violence

Domestic violence

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Two thirds of domestic abuse victims in South Yorkshire never see their alleged attacker being charged, new figures have revealed.

Of the 5,278 cases which were recorded as ‘crimes’ by South Yorkshire Police over a one-year period, only 34 per cent resulted in anyone being charged.

Silhouette of a woman protecting herself from a blow from her partner by holding her arms in front of her face.

Silhouette of a woman protecting herself from a blow from her partner by holding her arms in front of her face.

Five per cent of cases ended up with offenders receiving a caution, and one per cent of offenders were dealt with out of court.

The figures, revealed following an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies, show that in South Yorkshire six per cent of all recorded crime relates to domestic abuse.

Between August 2012 and August 2013, 18 per cent of the 539 assaults with intent to cause serious harm logged by the force were domestic abuse related.

HMIC inspectors themselves said nationally ‘the extent and nature of domestic abuse remains shocking’.

Jean Kidner, manager of the Haven House Project in Sheffield, which provide a refuge and support service for women and children fleeing abuse, said: “It seems to me that we are letting men off the hook.

“It can be very difficult for women to stand up in court when they still love somebody who has treated them in such an appalling way.”

But police chiefs said domestic abuse is a ‘clear priority’ for the force, and added ‘a raft of improvements to further improve how it deals with domestic abuse’ has been implemented since the inspection was carried out. Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said: “We have already developed and implemented an action plan to address areas where we could improve in protecting victims.

“Further extensive training has been provided for all officers and staff who come into contact with those affected by domestic abuse to ensure that victims in South Yorkshire receive the best possible service.

“The force continues to work closely with victims and partners to ensure we deliver an excellent service.”

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