Charging Policy

  1. Prosecutors should apply The Statement of Prosecution Policy and Practice at all times. This means that prosecutors should consider:
  2. In deciding whether to prosecute a case involving domestic violence, the prosecutor should take the views of the victim into account, without treating them as determinative. The prosecutor should obtain information about the family circumstances and the likely effect of a prosecution on the members of the family. In general, the more serious the offence the more likely is it that the public interest will require a prosecution, even if the victim does not wish to co-operate.
  3. Domestic violence often occurs in private. The victim may be the only witness who can testify to the commission of the offence, which the accused may deny. Unless the accused admits the offence and pleads guilty, the victim will in all likelihood be required to testify at court. But the prosecutor will actively consider what other evidence may be available. It is not to be assumed that bringing the victim to court to testify is the only way to prove a case.
  4. On rare occasions, the public interest might not require a prosecution in cases involving domestic violence. Such situations might arise where :