Barking and Dagenham has highest rate of domestic abuse, figures reveal

Barking and Dagenham saw the highest rate of domestic abuse offences according to a MOPAC report. (P

Barking and Dagenham saw the highest rate of domestic abuse offences according to a MOPAC report. (Picture posed by a model). Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Barking and Dagenham has the highest rate of domestic abuse in London, a police report revealed.

There were 12.6 offences per 1,000 people in the borough according to figures published in a report by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) on Wednesday.

The report found there was a reduction in offending rates in the borough in the year to March 2017 compared to the 12 months before but this has since returned to previous levels.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: “Tackling domestic abuse is one of our biggest priorities.

“We know we have large prevalence rates, and that our young people report a high acceptance level of abusive behaviours, so we will be directing resources to addressing this.”

He confirmed the figures but added measurements used in the report did not give the bigger picture.

He said: “There are limitations to taking single indicators at face value. The tri-borough police command covering Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge which started in April 2017 led to changes in how the police respond to several crime types which now fall under a safeguarding strand - domestic abuse, child abuse and sexual offences.

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“It is not surprising that the measures were impacted, as the new structures bedded in.”

He added that police referrals had decreased, but then returned to similar levels seen before the forces merged.

The council announced in January it was launching a domestic violence commission to investigate the causes of domestic abuse after recording the highest level of abuse in the home in London.

“We have started to carefully look at underlying causes to understand what lies behind violence and to agree the support we need to provide to people at crucial moments in their lives,” the spokesman said.

Domestic abuse includes controlling, coercive, violent or threatening behviour among people who have been partners or family members.

The MOPAC report states there are more cases in deprived parts of the capital.

The second highest rate was in Greenwich which saw 12.1 offences for every 1,000 people. This was followed by Haringey (11.2).

Newham saw 10.5 offences while Redbridge recorded 7.7 and Havering 9.1 per 1,000.

The report’s authors used crime figures and survey data from the Office for National Statistics.