APCC Chair says ‘CPS figures do not show a crime wave but that work by police and CPS is paying off’
APCC chair Vera Baird says ‘CPS figures do not show a crime wave but that work by police and CPS to respond well to vulnerable victims is paying off’ in response to Crown Prosecution Service’s annual Violence against Women and Girls report
Today’s publication of the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual Violence against Women and Girls report, showing a 10% rise in the number of prosecutions for rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases, reminds us of the sheer scale of the challenge we face in combating these heinous crime. But is also demonstrates the growing responsiveness and effectiveness of the police and courts in prosecuting, and convicting, more defendants than ever before.
Vera Baird QC, PCC for Northumbria and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said;
“The scale of offences perpetrated against women and girls is shocking and the impact they have on victims can be profound. But we should welcome the fact that there are more prosecutions for these offences than ever before, and acknowledge the hard work of our police CPS and courts in bringing perpetrators to justice.”
“With the introduction of new legislation in 2015 targeting two new offence types, ‘revenge pornography’ and ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’, we are confronting the use of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals, and acknowledging that domestic violence is so much more complex and nuanced than only physical abuse. We must continue to embed this understanding throughout the criminal justice system.”
“This report also shows that child sexual abuse prosecutions rose by 15.4% to 6,217. Effective police work and heavy sanctions by the courts will send out a message but it is too late for the victims by then. That is why the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners are calling for PSHE – personal, social, health and economic – education to be made a compulsory part of the national curriculum for every school, giving children who are victims of abuse the education to judge earlier that it is wrong and develop the confidence to report. We are committed to protecting future generations from harmful behaviour that, in the post-Savile era, we now realise has blighted so many lives.”