Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa today welcomed new figures revealing higher success rates in the courts for prosecutions involving violence against women and girls.
The figures, released by the Crown Prosecution Service, show victim-centred work to build confidence in reporting and ease the justice journey in Derbyshire is bearing fruit with high levels of successful prosecutions.
Derbyshire recorded an 87.8% success rate for sexual assault prosecutions during 2015-16 – almost 10% higher than the national average at 78%.
Meanwhile, successful prosecution rates for violence against women and girls stood at 78.6%, again higher than the national average at 74.2%.
Derbyshire also exceeded England and Wales average rates for successful prosecutions in domestic violence and rape cases at 78.2% and 67.6% respectively compared to 74.5% and 57.9% nationally.
Responding to the figures, Hardyal said: “These figures are encouraging on two levels; firstly any rise reflects increased confidence among vulnerable victims to report their experiences to the police and secondly, it provides a further incentive for any victim continuing to suffer in silence to come forward and seek effective justice.
“Violence against women and girls remains an underreported crime and any sign that more victims are asking for help is to be welcomed. This is one of the few crime categories in which an increase in statistics is positive and is testament to the strong victim recovery services we’ve put in place to encourage people to break the wall of silence.
“The impact of sexual violence or domestic abuse can last a lifetime and I’m pleased there are now more options legally to protect victims. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our police and CPS staff to bring the perpetrators of these violent crimes to justice. Derbyshire is performing exceptionally well and I hope this reassures more women and girls that coming forward is the safest way forward.”
The Crown Prosecution Service’s annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows a 10% rise nationally in the number of prosecutions for rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse cases.
Vera Baird QC, PCC for Northumbria and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said the figures demonstrated the growing responsiveness and effectiveness of the police and courts in prosecuting and convicting more defendants than ever before but called for further prevention work to safeguard vulnerable young girls.
“Effective police work and heavy sanctions by the courts will send out a message but it is too late for the victims by then,” she said.
“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.”
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Posted on Thursday 8th September 2016