Met Police arrest 100 people a day for domestic violence in lockdown

Met Police are arresting 100 people a day for domestic violence during coronavirus lockdown and say it is easier to catch suspects because they are all at home

  • Met says charges and cautions are up 24% from March 9 compared to last year
  • Domestic incidents up 3% year on year and 9% between March 9 and April 19
  • However force said  offences were up just 2% during the coronavirus period
  • Two domestic-related murders recorded in London during virus lockdown 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Metropolitan Police officers are arresting an average of 100 people a day for domestic violence offences during the coronavirus lockdown.

The force said that charges and cautions were up 24 per cent from March 9, when people with Covid-19 symptoms were asked to self-isolate, compared to last year.

Commander Sue Williams said domestic incidents, which can include family rows not recorded as crimes, were up 3 per cent year on year and 9 per cent between March 9 and April 19, although offences were up just 2 per cent in the virus period.

There have been two domestic-related murders recorded in London as police continue to warn of an increased risk of abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.

Metropolitan Police Commander Sue Williams (pictured in London in 2017) said domestic incidents were up 3 per cent year on year and 9 per cent between March 9 and April 19

‘We are seeing a rise, there’s no doubt about that, and we welcome that because we will take positive action against any perpetrators,’ Ms Williams said.

‘We are arresting about 100 people a day for domestic offences, which I think is pretty amazing, even given all the challenges we have in London.’

She said police officers were finding it ‘much easier’ to arrest suspects, who are either at home during the coronavirus lockdown or with family members or friends.

‘If you’re a domestic abuse suspect, we want them charged, cautioned or bailed,’ she said.

‘Our charges and our cautions are up 24 per cent on last year, and that’s in the Covid-19 period. So, we are charging more people. 

‘It will be a mixture of charges and cautions, but mainly charges because we don’t like cautioning and the CPS don’t like cautioning people for domestic abuse.

‘So, they have definitely gone up. If we have to bail someone, we bail them with conditions.’

Ms Williams told reporters success stories included a pregnant woman in east London who called police for help.

Officers used body-worn cameras to record the allegation and the alleged offender has been remanded in custody after the CPS launched a victimless prosecution, she said.

She added: ‘The main thing we are seeing is what we call domestic incidents, it could be the parties themselves in the household, family, friends phoning us and telling us they’re hearing noise, arguments taking place.

‘They are the majority of the incidents we’re hearing. Of course, there are violent offences, it has gone up a little bit but not massively. 

‘We have had two domestic-related murders in London during this period.’

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