Live updates

Record convictions for domestic violence last year

A record three in four prosecutions for domestic violence last year ended in a conviction, the Crown Prosecution has revealed.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, will later announce that in 74.6% of cases defendants either admitted the offences or were found guilty.

The total number of convictions in 2013/14 was just under 60,000, up almost 10% on the figure for 2012/13.

The longer term picture shows a steady rise in conviction rates, which have gone from 59.7% in 2005 to just under 75% in the last year.

According to CPS figures, domestic violence - which covers a wide range of abusive behaviours between partners, spouses and family members - now makes up over a tenth of the Service's casework.

Refuge: Domestic violence happens all year round

Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said it was important to recognise that domestic abuse happens every day of the year, and is not caused by football.

Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley. Credit: Press Association

Read: Domestic abuse 'incidents up 38% when England lose'

Speaking as a police forces across the UK launched campaigns encouraging victims to speak out, she said:

"It's important to be clear - football does not cause domestic violence. Lots of men who abuse women have no interest in sport whatsoever, and many men who are avid football fans never lay a finger on their partners.

"Domestic violence happens all year round - whether the England football team is playing or not. [...]

"The police should be encouraging women to reach out for support every day of the year, not just during the World Cup."


Domestic abuse 'incidents up 38% when England lose'

Research from the University of Lancaster showed the threat of violence increased whether England lost or won. Credit: Press Association

Researchers at Lancaster University found that incidents of domestic abuse rose significantly during the World Cup tournament.

Read: Domestic violence warning ahead of the World Cup

Levels of domestic abuse rose by 26% when England won or drew during the last three World Cups, while there was a 38% spike when the national team lost, the research found.

Domestic violence set to soar during the World Cup

Police across the UK are preparing for an increase in domestic violence over the coming month as the World Cup tournament kicks off on Thursday.

Increased alcohol abuse may be one of the factors that leads to the hike in domestic violence during the World Cup. Credit: Press Association

Research suggests the threat of domestic violence increases significantly throughout the competition, particularly when England play.

  1. Granada

8-year-old in frantic 999 call to report domestic abuse

Police have released a recording of the moment an eight-year-old boy called 999 to tell them his mother was being battered by her partner.

Warning: You may find the contents of this video distressing

The call was released by Greater Manchester Police as part of the launch of a major campaign against domestic violence before the World Cup starts.

The boy can be heard pleading ‘help, help it’s my mum and dad’ as the woman screams for help in the background and another child can be heard crying.

Greater Manchester Police say they went to the scene but neither parent would give any information about the incident and said they did not want any police involvement.

  1. Granada

Domestic violence warning ahead of the World Cup

Greater Manchester Police are urging the public to show domestic abuse the red card this World Cup.

The facts:

  • In 2010 GMP recorded 353 incidents the day England were knocked out
  • 5,897 emergency calls were made over that 24 hours
  • 43% up on what police would normally expect to receive

Partners the North West Ambulance Service recorded a 34 percent increase in the number of assaults after England were thrown out in the 2010 games.

It also saw a 21 percent increase in the number of 999 calls compared to the previous weekend that year.

In previous tournaments we have seen the combination of expectations, emotions, warm weather and alcohol consumption result in an increase in 999 calls for assaults.

We urge people to think first, drink sensibly and remain aware of their actions so they can enjoy the matches in good spirit and avoid harm to themselves and other people.

– Derek Cartwright, North West Ambulance Service

For more information or to report abuse contact police on 101 or the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 6367525.


Case behind the guidelines: Mary Russell

  • Domestic violence among elderly couples was brought into focus by the death of 81-year-old Mary Russell in 2010.
  • Mary died of a bleed to the brain following a "domestic related" incident but is believed to have suffered abuse for some time.
  • Mrs Russell, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, made eight 999 calls in the seven months before she died.
  • She first reported violence to police in 2003, when she was found standing on her doorstep with blood pouring from her nose by a neighbour.
  • Her husband, Albert Russell, was arrested after his wife's death but it was decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the 88-year-old, who has since died.
  • A serious case review found police were failing to deal with the hidden problem of domestic violence among elderly couples.

'Intense bouts' of domestic violence suffered by elderly

Elderly domestic abuse victims are at danger of more frequent and intense bouts of violence, according to fresh guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Elderly victims of domestic abuse are often already isolated by old age, the guidelines warned. Credit: PA

New draft guidance from the CPS warned the stress of caring for an ill partner in later life could also lead to increased domestic violence.

The situation was often exacerbated by mental and physical frailty and isolation brought on by old age.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "We know from research conducted by others that there is very little evidence that partner violence decreases with age, and it is important we also recognise the factors that may contribute to and impact upon domestic abuse between older people."

Domestic violence victims 'failed by police response'

A damning report into how police deal with domestic violence has found there are "alarming and unacceptable" failures.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found only 8 of 43 forces in England and Wales were currently providing a substantial service.

Thousands of domestic violence victims are being failed due to poor attitudes, ineffective training and inadequate evidence gathering, HMIC said, as it called for an urgent shake-up of the response.

Load more updates