HC Deb 10 June 1999 vol 332 c394W
Jackie Ballard

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact on domestic violence statistics of the change of definition which has been issued to police forces. [85918]

Mr. Boateng

The previous definition was being interpreted in a number of different ways. A new definition was necessary in order to bring about more precise, consistent and comparable returns to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary so as to give more accurate knowledge of the number of incidents of violence between current or former partners that are reported to the police.

Because of the range of interpretations given to the existing definition, it is not easy to gauge the exact result of the change. For some forces, the new definition may not represent a significant change. For others, the new definition will narrow the interpretation which they have been using, with the result that they will probably record slightly fewer domestic violence incidents.