HC Deb 18 June 2004 vol 422 cc1162-4W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action the Government is taking on domestic violence other than imprisonment of offenders. [176814]

Paul Goggins

[holding answer 10 June 2004]: Domestic violence is a horrific crime, which claims the lives of around two women a week. This Government is determined to tackle it.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill is the biggest overhaul of domestic violence legislation for thirty years. It is a key part of the Government's aim of putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and part of our wider domestic violence strategy to protect and support victims, as well as bringing perpetrators to justice.

A broad range of other initiatives are being taken forward by the Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence. These initiatives include important developments in health, education and housing as well as the civil and criminal justice systems. This year we are investing £56.97 million on domestic violence services as part of the Supporting People Program. Following a positive evaluation of the effectiveness of five specialist domestic violence courts in what further action we can take to improve Court Services for victims of domestic violence.

Mrs. Gillan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women have been killed by(a) intimate partners and (b) family members in incidents in each of the last five years for which statistics are available; and in how many of these cases children were also killed. [178354]

Paul Goggins

The latest available information on homicide is published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin number 01/04, "Crime in England and Wales 2002/2003: Supplementary Volume 1: Homicide and Gun Crime". It provides information on gender of victims and relationship of victim to suspect. The Bulletin does not identify individual cases where children were also killed.

For England and Wales, the available information on women homicide victims killed by partners/ex-partners and others known to them is given in the table.

Partner/ex-partner Other known1
1998–99 76 82
1999–2000 88 55
2000–01 98 76
2001–02 120 64
2002–03 107 85
1 Other known includes relationships of victim to principal suspect of son/daughter, parent, other family, friend and acquaintance.
Figures are as at 13 November 2003 and are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police, by the courts or as further information becomes available.

Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the performance indicators against which he plans to measure the(a) medium and (b) long-term success of his domestic violence strategy. [178817]

Paul Goggins

We intend to measure the effectiveness of our domestic violence strategy over the medium and long term using the following indicatorsHomicides as a result of domestic violence; Headline prevalence of domestic violence (as measured by the British Crime Survey Inter-Personal Violence module); Numbers of (a) young people and (b) all people who think that violence is acceptable in some circumstances; Percentage of domestic violence incidents with a power of arrest where an arrest was made related to incident and, of this, the percentage of partner-on-partner violence (within the Policing Performance Assessment Framework). A new indicator covering rates of attrition in domestic violence; The number of civil orders made; A new Best Value Performance Indicator designed to assess the overall effectiveness of local authority services to domestic violence victims. This will shortly go out for consultation with local authorities, and it part of a suite of indicators which will be piloted in the autumn and introduced in April 2005; An indicator relating to victim satisfaction with the support they have received from key agencies.

Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what easy-to-understand guidance he has issued for practitioners on the sharing of personal information where domestic violence is(a) suspected and (b) disclosed to them. [178818]

Paul Goggins

The Home Office Development and Practice Report 30, "Safety and justice: sharing personal information in the context of domestic violence—an overview", was published at the National Victims Conference on 28 April 2004.

The report, which was endorsed by the Information Commissioner and by the Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence, provides an introduction to responsible and lawful sharing of personal and sensitive information between practitioners in domestic violence contexts in England and Wales. It also demonstrates that sharing personal and sensitive information can be done in a legal, pragmatic and straightforward way. We have also developed a web-based tool to accompany the report. This can be accessed at www.crimereduction.gov.uk.

Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many calls there have been to the domestic violence hotline in each month since its introduction. [178865]

Yvette Cooper

I have been asked to reply.

There have been 26,070 calls to the national domestic violence helpline (0808 2000 247) jointly operated by Refuge and Women's Aid between its launch on 15 December 2003 and 15 June 2004. In addition, Women's Aid have received 42,691 calls on their previous help-line number, and Refuge 43,890 calls on their previous numbers. A monthly breakdown of these figures is given as follows.

Calls made to the national domestic violence helpline
December 2003 1,345
January 2004 3,382
February 2004 3,654
March 2004 5,933

Calls made to the national domestic violence helpline
April 2004 3,956
May 2004 4,098
June 2004 3,702