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Domestic Abuse Arrests

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8:28am 12th October 2012
(Updated 8:28am 12th October 2012)

Pirate FM has learnt almost half of men arrested over domestic violence in Cornwall are released without charge.

Police dealt with 1280 cases last year.

550 came to nothing.

Police are worried victims are scared to take action.

Lizzie Matthews from the Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre says: "There is still a stigma I think. People are frightened of looking like the nosy neighbour. I think there is still an issue that people may blame the victim so we just need to work more and more with the community to make it clear that it's never acceptable to be abusive."

In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said: "The decision to take no further action in a case, and release without charge, is only made when all the relevant facts are reviewed and it is felt to be the most appropriate course of action at that time. Such a decision will have to take into consideration all of the available evidence and of paramount importance is the victim's wishes. In many cases where complaints are withdrawn there may not be any other supporting evidence available on which to base a successful prosecution.  In other cases the decision to take no further action may result in a further arrest and prosecution at a later stage in the investigation once all the available evidence has been collated.  

"Devon and Cornwall Police take a robust stance in respect of domestic abuse and its officers will take positive action when called to any such incident. This will lead to arrests in many such cases. Once each incident has been assessed and the victims wishes ascertained it may be more suitable to invoke other sanctions such as civil redress or other forms of criminal sanction (i.e. harassment warnings) which would mean that the offenders are released without charge. In all such cases the Police will work together with other partner agencies to support the victim and their families."

8:28am 12th October 2012

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