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Domestic Abuse is a priority: Crown Prosecution Service responds to Inspectorate report

|News, Domestic abuse

The Crown Prosecution Service’s determination to work with partners across the criminal justice system to improve the successful investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse cases has been recognised in a report published today.

His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s report into performance from the CPS to victims of domestic abuse, found prosecutors were overwhelmingly selecting charges that were appropriate and proportionate to reflect the criminality involved and give courts adequate sentencing powers. 

To drive improvements in our collective handling of domestic abuse cases, the CPS has begun work with the police on developing a joint plan of actions so we can deliver justice for more victims. 

The Joint Justice Plan between police and CPS is expected to be published by the end of the year and will build on our collaborative approach to rape, as we work with police to improve the standard of domestic abuse cases and provide a better service to victims. 

Kate Brown, Chief Crown Prosecutor and national lead for domestic abuse at the CPS, said: 

“We welcome the Inspectorate report, which found prosecutors were passionate and committed to their work but also found areas that needed improvement. 

“Domestic abuse is a priority for us - we recognise there is more work to be done and want to give victims confidence that we’re committed to securing justice in as many cases as we can. 

“We are working collaboratively with the police on domestic abuse cases, taking a similar approach to our work on rape, which is already making an impact.

“We are developing joint actions with police to drive improvements in our collective handling of domestic abuse cases so we can better meet the needs of victims.”

The Inspectorate report raised concerns around competing demands on prosecutors, as well as a need for better services to victims and witnesses of domestic abuse. They have given the CPS recommendations to take forward which include: 

  • Implementing an improved system around summary time limits for domestic abuse cases.
  • Developing a consistent approach to trauma training in cases of violence against women and girls, that reflects engagement with specialist organisations.
  • Embedding a process to ensure all relevant information about victims in domestic abuse cases is available to the sentencing court.

Our response to these recommendations can be found here and will build on the domestic abuse framework and updated legal guidance the CPS published at the end of last year. There is also a significant programme of work underway to transform our service to victims, with victims of domestic abuse, rape and serious sexual offences set to receive an enhanced, improved offering from the CPS.

Notes to editors

  • His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s report into performance from the CPS to victims of domestic abuse can be found here:
  • The updated legal guidance for domestic abuse can be found here:
  • The domestic abuse policy statement which sets out how the CPS addresses domestic abuse and our commitment to doing so can be found here: 
  • Our charging rate for domestic abuse cases is around 75%, meaning of the cases brought to us by police for a decision we charge 75% with an offence.
  • For domestic abuse cases it takes around 25 days from the first submission by the police to a CPS decision to charge.
  • We have a Joint National Action Plan with the police which sets out a joint commitment to drive improvements in how rape cases are investigated and prosecuted. Since the introduction of the Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) in January 2021, adult rape referrals from police have increased 69% and the number of adult rape cases charged has increased by 86%.
  • Work on the Joint Justice Plan, the joint plan of actions between police and CPS to improve our collective handling of domestic abuse cases has begun this month (March) with a final plan expected to be published at the end of the year. 

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