The Domestic Abuse Commissioner responds to HMCPSI report into the CPS and domestic abuse

“I am really pleased to see that the inspectorate has conducted a review into the Crown Prosecution Service’s handling of domestic abuse cases.

“This has highlighted some worrying trends and considerable areas for improvement which can’t be ignored when we are seeing the continued drop in domestic abuse prosecutions (down by a fifth since 2019) which means victims are not getting the justice they deserve.  

“Nearly 40 per cent of cases failed to meet disclosure standards which shows that in a high proportion the CPS weren’t working effectively with the police to build cases.

“The majority of cases didn’t meet the standard for risk assessments which means protective measures weren’t being properly considered before charging decisions were made, leaving victims at risk.

“The post arrest and pre-charge period is one of the most dangerous for survivors if the alleged perpetrator is out on police bail and this has a huge impact on attrition.

“The review also found that there wasn’t any evidence of special measures meetings taking place in any of the areas inspected despite special measures in criminal justice proceedings now being mandated in the Domestic Abuse Act.

“I was also very disappointed to see the huge decline in performance in evidence led prosecutions which aren’t solely based on victims statements.  

“The CPS must address these issues as a matter of urgency if they genuinely want to improve their track record on domestic abuse prosecutions to deliver better outcomes for victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

“I look forward to working with the CPS and the police as it develops its joint national action plan on domestic abuse, building on its strengths and tackling its weaknesses to better serve survivors of domestic abuse.”

Read the HMCPSI report here.