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Massive increase in DA cases being dropped

The number of domestic abuse-related common assault cases running out of time to proceed in England and Wales went up 159% in the five years to 2020/21.

In 2016/17 a total of 1,451 cases failed to meet the six-month deadline between the alleged incident and a charge having to be brought. In 2020-21 the figure was 3,763.

That increase is against the background of the total number of common assaults flagged as instances of domestic abuse going up 71% from 99,134 to 170,013 in the same period.

The data was obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information from 30 of England and Wales’s 43 police forces.

The six-month time limit is intended to keep the criminal justice system moving. But campaigners are calling for it to be extended by as much as two years in instances of domestic abuse because of the complexity often involved.



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