Women’s Aid responds to HMICFRS report which reveals police delays in responding to 999 calls
Thursday 22nd March 2018
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“It is shocking to see that when survivors report domestic abuse to the police they are not always provided with an effective response when they reach out for help, with emergency calls being delayed in twelve forces for hours and in some cases days. According to today’s HMICFRS report, there is a domestic abuse crime committed every minute. While the overall response to domestic abuse continues to improve, it is clear that some police forces are overwhelmed by demand.
“This failure to respond efficiently when a survivor first reaches out for help not only compromises the chances of an effective investigation but also poses serious concern for survivors’ safety and access to justice. The falling arrest rate for domestic abuse, at a time when the number of incidents reported to the police is increasing, threatens survivors’ safety and sends out the dangerous message to perpetrators that they can get away with it. While we are also worried about the continuing trend for domestic abuse cases to be abandoned if the victim withdraws support for the prosecution; far too often poor evidence-gathering or over-reliance on the victim results in perpetrators not being held accountable for the crime. This is failing victims of domestic abuse, and undermining their confidence in the justice system to protect them.
“The government’s Domestic Abuse Bill promises to transform our national response to domestic abuse and ensure more victims have the courage to speak out. This new law must be underpinned by sufficient resources both for statutory agencies, such as the police, and specialist domestic abuse services, including refuges which are currently under threat by planned funding changes. These life-saving services are not an optional extra but an essential piece of the jigsaw in our response to domestic abuse. We want the government to give survivors a cast-iron guarantee that they will not go ahead with planned changes to how refuges will be funded. A truly transformative response to domestic abuse must both hold perpetrators accountable and keep women and children safe.”
Read HMICFRS’s PEEL police effectiveness 2017, a national overview report online here.
For further information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office on: 020 7566 2511 / [email protected]