Prosecutions for commercial fraud are expected to rise this year due to a stronger commitment to bring proceedings under the Bribery Act 2010. It will be interesting to see how the offence of failing to prevent bribery is handled by both the prosecuting authorities such as the Serious Fraud Office and defendants alike.
The Criminal Finances Act currently forging its passage through Parliament, as a Bill, should bring some tantalising developments.
Reports of sexual violence and domestic abuse have risen by nearly 12% year on year over the last four years in London. Cases of domestic violence soared by just under 58% in the same period. Last year despite a rise of almost 7% of domestic violence matters reported the proportion of people being charged with the offence has dropped.
In the year September 2015 to 2016 just 28% of domestic violence cases lead to either a caution, charge or other punishment compared to 41% in the previous four years. There were nearly 6000 rapes which contributed to a total of 17,000 sexual offences with 150,000 being the total of domestic violence incidents. 16% of sexual offences resulted in prosecution compared to only 10% four years earlier.
Whilst victims gain in confidence in reporting crime is commendable it will be a pity if this is thwarted by police inactivity.
Meanwhile a coordinator of a women’s refuge in north west London has been jailed for two years having been charged with fraud by abuse of position for the theft of nearly £35,000 which augmented the charity’s closure.