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The BBC has obtained data that reveals a sharp increase in cases of alleged domestic abuse (DA) being dropped. In common assault cases, including DA, police have six months to bring charges. Due to the complex nature of many DA cases, campaigners argue this time limit is unfair, and denies many victims justice in the judicial system. 

Figures show 3,763 cases were dropped for this reason in the past year, compared with 1,451 four years earlier.

Across the past five years, 12,982 cases have been ended because of the six-month limit being passed.

“This is a shocking fact that thousands of cases a year – and getting worse – are just being timed out,”

Labour MP Yvette Cooper. Chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

A government spokesman said that all allegations should be investigated and pursued where possible, and that money had been invested to support victims of such crimes during the pandemic.