Two women in conversation

Increased reports of violence against women and girls stretch police

15 November 2016
  • Reports of violence against women and girls[1] (VAWG) have been increasing in London for the last four years[2].
  • Reported rapes and other sexual offences have increased by 11 per cent year on year[2].
  • Recorded domestic offences[3] have increased by 57 per cent compared to four years ago[2].


A report published today by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee‘Violence Against Women and Girls[4]– examines the detail behind the rise in reports, the support available to victims and the ways in which organisations are working together to prevent it.

It highlights that increased reporting of violence against women and girls has not translated into action against perpetrators and it explores the reasons behind this trend.

The extra pressure on police and support services has resulted in the gap widening between the number of reports of violence against women and girls being received and the number of individuals being charged or receiving another sanction. This could lead to a loss of confidence in reporting.


Other findings and recommendations of the report include:

  • In the year to September 2016 there were over 150,000 domestic abuse incidents and over 17,000 sexual offences, including nearly 6,000 rapes in the capital.
  • In the year to September 2016, only 28 per cent of notifiable domestic offences reported resulted in a charge, caution or other outcome. This compares to 41 per cent in the year to September 2012.
  • The Mayor can play a significant role in making London a safer city for women and girls. Having made a public commitment to tackle VAWG, the Mayor should use his influence over the Met’s budget to make policing and support services better meet demand.


Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee, Steve O’Connell AM, said:

“The Committee has looked at the data and spoken to organisations working with victims to understand what more can be done to improve the way violence against women and girls is tackled and how victims can be better supported.

The low level of action against perpetrators suggests that the Met’s resources have struggled to keep up with the increase in reports. Whilst the rise in reporting should be seen as a success - as more victims gain confidence to come forward - there is a risk that this confidence will be lost if the resources available do not meet demand. Complainant confidence in the police, which is hard won, will be undermined. The concern is this may, in due course, reduce reporting, reversing the positive trends over the last few years. The Committee is calling on the Mayor to provide visible leadership on the issue and drive service improvements to ensure services meet demand.”

Notes to editors

  1. Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an umbrella term for a range of crimes, including domestic assault, rape, sexual offences, stalking, human trafficking for sexual exploitation and prostitution. It also includes forced marriage, so called ‘honour’ crimes and female genital mutilation (FGM).
  2. Domestic and sexual violence dashboard – Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
  3. Domestic offences, as recorded on the dashboard, shows the number of domestic abuse related offences notifiable to the Home Office as per the Home Office Counting Rules for crime - MOPAC
  4. ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ report (attached).
  5. Steve O’Connell AM, Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee, is available for interview – see contact details below.
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.