Open letter to the editor of the Telegraph
Your Leading Article (February 7) suggests that the police are unable to investigate crimes such as burglary – ‘crimes that people care about’, according to the piece – because of the time spent investigating crimes like domestic abuse. We believe this is a dangerous line of argument that pits victims of different crimes against each other, and downplays the devastating and far reaching impact of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is a serious and often violent crime which leaves at least 100 families bereaved every year. It is also often connected to violence outside the home. It affects people behind all types of front door whether humble or grand, and causes decades of harm – physical, emotional and often economic. The police are a vitally important part of the response to a problem which impacts two million UK adults and many more children every year.
Proper resources, combined with effective training and a system which connects up community support with police, health and the criminal justice system, can end this. It’s not a distraction from other crime. A properly resourced police service will tackle both visible and hidden harms in society, because both matter. This Government has rightly set the target of reducing violent crime by 20%. Domestic abuse comprises over 30% of violent crime and so is correctly one of the police priorities alongside other the other types of crime mentioned in the column.
Your article states that ‘burglary in particular traumatises and violates someone’s home yet few are ever solved.’ Survivors of abuse, who will number amongst your readers and your staff, know what it’s like to feel traumatised, violated and afraid in your own home. We invite you to listen to them. Serious crime can begin with a broken window or a key turning in the door. Victims of both deserve justice.
Suzanne Jacob OBE, Chief Executive, SafeLives
Isabel Boyer, Chair of Trustees, SafeLives
Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director, Drive Programme
Sarah Green, Director, End Violence Against Women coalition
Frank Mullane MBE, Chief Executive, Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse
Gudrun Burnet, Chief Executive, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence
Jo Todd, Chief Executive, Respect
Nicola Sharp Jeffs, Chief Executive, Surviving Economic Abuse
Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Policy, Communications and Research, Lloyds Bank Foundation
Emily Bolton, Director, Social Finance
Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive, Scottish Women’s Aid
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive, White Ribbon UK
Fiona Dwyer, Chief Executive, Solace Women's Aid
Rebecca Vagi, Housing Manager, Domestic Abuse and Housing Alliance
Jemima Olchawski, Chief Executive, Agenda
Adina Claire, Acting Co-Chief Executive, Women’s Aid
Eleri Butler, Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid
Nik Noone, Chief Executive, Galop
Niki Scordi, Chief Executive, Advance
Ruth Bashall, Director, Stay Safe East