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Feb 27, 2014|
Thousands of Britons, mostly women and children, are at risk of being killed or seriously injured as a result of domestic violence, new official figures show.
According to police assessments obtained by the British daily the Guardian on Wednesday, at least 10,952 individuals were considered to be at high risk of being murdered or seriously attacked at home in the year to November 2013.
The data was collected from 34 out of the 44 police forces across England, Wales and Scotland.
Observers believe the figures could be much higher as the level of domestic violence is heavily underestimated by the British police.
There are also rising concerns that too many mistakes are being made by the police force when dealing with the highest risk victims.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, a charity that organizes a network of safe houses for women and children suffering domestic violence in Britain, called for proper protection for victims and warned the police not to use the risk assessments as a "tick box" exercise.
“There is no point in doing a risk assessment if the knowledge gained does not lead to proactive safety planning measures … I am deeply concerned that in too many cases this does not happen,” she said.Earlier this month, a study by Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 30 percent of British women and 16.3 percent of men had experienced domestic violence at some time since the age of 16, which is equivalent to an estimated 4.9 million women and 2.7 million men in the UK.
Statistics compiled by Britain’s opposition Labour Party also showed in December last year that reports of domestic violence increased by 9.4 percent in 2012-13 from 2010-11. However, cases sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales went down by 13 percent.