Yvette Cooper, the Labour shadow home secretary, has accused the coalition government of turning its back on the scale of domestic violence.
Non Court Disposals
The MP will today make a speech criticising the use of non court disposals such as restorative justice in thousands of cases involving domestic violence. Senior police officials indicated these “community resolutions” are only used in low level instances, but said there had been 10,000 such cases since 2010 in which they have been used in relation to allegations of domestic violence.
“I have talked to police officers across the country who say something very different.”
“Remember that two women a week are still killed by a partner or an ex. If you had that level of violence at football matches or in town centres across the country there would be a national outcry. Very many of those victims have contacted the police time and time again before they are killed.”
“Don’t you think we should be doing something much more to intervene earlier? That’s why the Labour party would bring in new legislation on not just violence against women but wider domestic violence, sexual violence, and why we would bring in national standards across the board – a new commissioner to cover sexual and domestic violence to make sure that those standards are met and make sure that we don’t have these problems where people get a slap on the wrist for something which is actually a very serious crime.”
Labour has confirmed it would look at introducing specific domestic violence legislation in an effort to increase the decreasing prosecution rate in such cases. Labour has previously promised to bring in a violence against women and girls bill that would stop the use of community resolutions in such cases of domestic violence. These orders for a perpetrator to agree a penalty with the victim, such as an apology or compensation, allow those who commit minor crimes to avoid a criminal record.
Cooper’s speech today will also highlight the fall in prosecutions and convictions for rape, child sex offences and domestic violence. She will also criticise the loss of 9,000 frontline police officers and the government’s refusal to introduce compulsory sex education in an effort to teach zero tolerance of violence against women.