Domestic Violence Reports Rise in Lambeth

Reports to the Metropolitan Police for domestic violence-related crimes in Lambeth have gone up from 2,802 in 2015 to 3,385 in 2019.

By Kadidja and Anon, Lambeth · May 4, 2020

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A total of 14,804 incidents of domestic abuse in Lambeth have been reported to the police since 2015.

These incidents are on the rise with 3,385 reports of crimes perpetrated by an intimate partner or family member in 2019 compared with 2,802 in 2015.

Of the victims, three in four were women with 10,990 reports to the police and men were victims of 3,874 crimes. Crimes can have more than one victim.

Of the accused, there were 3,568 individuals, of which 3,127, 88%, were male and 441 were female.

Only 1,972 perpetrators of these crimes, which include sexual offences, robbery and violence against the person, have been charged or summonsed.

In 4,533 cases, the crime has been confirmed and the victim is pursuing police involvement but “evidential difficulties” have prevented any further action. 

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service, which determines whether a case goes to trial, said they look “carefully at the evidence” once the police forward the case to their team.

They said: “Domestic abuse has a significant impact upon victims and damages lives. Once an incident of domestic abuse is reported and investigated, and the evidence meets a certain threshold, the police will refer the case to the CPS for consideration as to what charges if any should be brought.

“Once a case is referred to us we will look carefully at the evidence and decide whether to proceed with a prosecution. We work closely with the police in ensuring we have all of the facts on which to make a fully informed decision. These are sensitive and challenging cases and we will not hesitate to prosecute those who commit these serious crimes when our legal tests are met.”

Despite this, the Metropolitan Police Service is encouraging people to come forward if they suspect anyone is self-isolating with an abusive partner during the global pandemic.

In the six weeks up to 19 April, officers across London had made 4,093 arrests for domestic abuse offences – nearly 100 a day on average – and domestic abuse calls have risen by around a third in the last six weeks.

Commander Sue Williams, the Met’s lead for safeguarding, said: “The COVID-19 restrictions and “stay at home” instruction is vital to managing this public health crisis, but unfortunately it has also left current and potential victims of domestic abuse even more vulnerable and isolated.

“I want to stress that the Met is still here for Londoners – no-one who is experiencing domestic abuse should feel that they have to suffer in silence.

“Victims should be assured that they can leave their homes to escape harm or seek help, and they will not be penalized in any way for not maintaining social distancing, or otherwise breaching COVID-19 restrictions.”

Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “My message to those who feel unsafe and are suffering silently in their own homes, is that the Met Police is there for you. If you are in danger and you need to phone 999, you should do so, and if you need help you can also call the national domestic abuse helpline who will be there to speak to you.”

The 24/7 National Domestic Abuse helpline, which offers support to victims and people affected by domestic abuse, is free to call on 0808 2000 247.

Media literacy charity The Student View made the findings following a Freedom of Information request.