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Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, on the launch of the Labour's Policy Review document “From detection to prevention: Preventative policing to close the domestic violence intervention gap”, will say:
“Domestic violence is a hidden emergency for over a million women in Britain every year who call out for urgent help but are not properly heard.
"Domestic abuse is still a hidden crime. The scale of it cannot be tolerated. One in five of the tens of thousands of 999 calls received by one police force working with us were domestic violence related, and last year the domestic violence rate was twice as high as the burglary rate Two women every week are killed at the hands of their abuser in England and Wales - yet it still isn't given the priority it needs to keep people safe.
“In government Labour made tackling Violence Against Women and Girls a priority - and measures such as Specialist Domestic Violence courts, specialist police units and prosecutors, and partnerships with councils and housing to support victims all helped reduce incidents of domestic violence.
“But a lot of that work is under threat at the moment, and the truth is we also need to go much further with stronger action to keep people safe.
“For a start Labour Police and Crime Commissioners will make tackling Violence against Women and Girls a priority in their policing and crime plans. This will include training for police officers, specialist units, partnerships with housing, local government, schools and support organisations to protect victims and prevent abuse.
“But we also need more action in the majority of cases which never reach court.
“It is shocking that in over 90% of incidents little or no further action is taken against the perpetrator and little is done to prevent repeat violence.
“Most of the support for victims is targeted at the highest risk cases that have seen a conviction. And most of the action with perpetrators to prevent repeated violence and abuse is targeted at the small minority of people who go to court, are convicted and get sentences of over 12 months.
“Yet that means many people get away with it, the violence gets worse and their partners suffer more and more abuse. We know that if domestic violence is not tackled early it can escalate. Two people are killed by partners or former partners every week.
“That is why I want to see far more action by the police to identify violent partners at an earlier stage with stronger action to prevent violence even when cases don't reach court.
“Labour PCCs will work with the police to pioneer new approaches to prevent domestic violence and keep victims safe.
“Domestic violence may no longer be a taboo subject. But too often this horrible crime is still hidden behind closed doors. And too often it is still seen as too difficult to solve. When so many victims cry out for urgent help they must not be ignored.
To download Labour's Policy Review document, "From detection to prevention: Preventative policing to close the domestic violence intervention gap”, click here