Domestic violence convictions rising

THE number of domestic violence offenders being brought to justice in Suffolk has leapt by 10%, new figures have revealed.According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), 79.

THE number of domestic violence offenders being brought to justice in Suffolk has leapt by 10%, new figures have revealed.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), 79.5% of domestic violence cases resulted in a conviction between January and March 2006, compared to 69.3% between October and December 2005.

The figures come as a national CPS snapshot survey on domestic violence showed that recorded cases increased by 32% in December 2005 compared to the previous year.

More defendants also pleaded guilty - 52% up from 45% - while nationally the number of cases resulting in a conviction jumped from 53% to 59%.

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Mike Crimp, CPS Suffolk's designated specialist in domestic violence, said: “It is encouraging to see the approach of CPS to cases of domestic violence has seen such positive results.

“Although there is still much to do to ensure that this progress continues, these figures are the result of working together with other criminal justice agencies to spread good practices, improve training and increase knowledge and awareness of domestic violence issues.

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“By working alongside other criminal justice agencies, such as the police, and the HM Court Services, as well as the county domestic violence officer, we endeavour to try to achieve justice and provide better care and support for the victims of domestic violence.

“Through ongoing consultation with voluntary organisations who work on behalf of domestic violence victims we are also making sure our policies and training take into consideration the views and concerns of our victims.”

The news was also welcomed by Hilary Cadman, director of charity Ipswich Women's Aid - which works to end domestic violence - who said more people now feel able to come forward and report their tormentors.

She added: “I'm very pleased. We're in the process here in Ipswich of trying to establish a domestic violence court, which would see trained magistrates and court staff dealing with domestic violence cases on a specific day.

“More and more agencies have a better understanding about the issues surrounding domestic violence and are much more supportive and are giving much better and informed information.

“I think more women feel more able to come forward - gradually, there's less guilt attached to it.”

Ms Cadman continued: “Domestic violence is horrific. One in four women suffer from it at some point in their life and you have to remember that children go through it as well - they witness it and also get targeted themselves.

“It's a horrendous crime and the figures which show that the courts are having success handling it is very good news.”

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