CONVICTION rates for perpetrators of domestic violence have increased in the past year in Greater Manchester.

The force’s conviction rate has increased by two per cent to 81 per cent in the past year — the national average is 75 per cent.

But Tony Lloyd, police and crime commissioner for Greater Manchester, said “there is still a long way to go” to help victims.

The figures were released as part of a report by the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into domestic violence.

Mr Lloyd said: “We’ve come a long way in the treatment of victims of domestic violence, but this report shows there is still a long way to go both here in Greater Manchester and across Britain.

“That’s not just for police, but for the entire criminal justice and indeed all those who work with families who are affected by the blight of domestic violence. It is, let’s not forget, the biggest single type of violence in British society.”

He has asked Greater Manchester Police to produce an action plan so he can see the progress made when introducing recommendations.

The report follows police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission finding that a police officer did fail in his duties when investigating the an allegation of domestic assault made by Kirsty Smedley in March, 2012.

A month later her son Rio, aged two, was murdered by her partner, Daniel Rigby, who she previously alleged had attacked her.

The force was given a number of recommendations to improve the service in the HMIC report. These included ensuring relevant information on previous incidents is accessible and to identify those most at risk better.

GMP was also advised to establish a mechanism to ensure lesson learned from homicide and serious case reviews that can be communicated forcewide.

Ch Cons Peer Fahy, the force’s top officer, said: “Every day officers and staff work with victims to support them at what is a difficult time. It is vital that they have the confidence to report any issues or concerns to police and to know that they will be taken seriously.

“Domestic abuse is a complex and challenging issue to deal with and we take all reports seriously. We are building networks with agencies to support people throughout the process and by working together we can do more.”

He said work has been carried out to improve experiences for victims, including being one of the first forces to pilot Clare’s Law, a domestic violence disclosure scheme to discover whether a person’s partner has previous convictions. Police also remove violent partners from home .

People can report domestic violence incidents to police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.