Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said it was of “huge concern” that on average three in every four domestic abuse-related crimes are closed by the police without the perpetrator being charged.
But in the inspection of how officers responded to domestic abuse during the pandemic, forces were praised for the efforts made to prevent the crime and protect victims.
NYPFCC Philip Allott say despite this, there is still much more to do to support victims.
He said: “Survivors of domestic and sexual abuse deserve the best possible support to deal with the impact of the crime and help them recover as much as is ever possible. I welcome the recommendations set out in the report from HMICFRS and will be reviewing North Yorkshire Police’s response to domestic abuse during the pandemic at my monthly public accountability meeting in July.
“Like Her Majesty’s Inspector, I am also deeply concerned by the effect of Covid-related delays in the criminal justice system upon the welfare of victims and the risk of re-offending. As a newly elected Commissioner, I am determined to explore every avenue for driving improvement in the performance of the local criminal justice system as it recovers from the impact of coronavirus."
Mr Allott said: "In North Yorkshire and the City of York, the number of domestic abuse crimes during the pandemic remained at a similar level to 2019/20 - the first time we have not seen a marked annual increase in recorded domestic abuse crimes in several years. Although some may see this as a positive, I think it is much more of a concern. We know all too often domestic abuse is hidden, unseen and unreported and this is backed up by a significant rise in those accessing support through our jointly commissioned domestic abuse services.”
“During the pandemic, our services responded immediately to the requirement to work innovatively with victims and perpetrators to ensure the right support continued to be available to them during this period. This in part was made possible by securing additional Ministry of Justice funding which allowed us to provide more help at a time when services were coming under increasing strain due to the impacts of the pandemic."