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.
Ten percent of businesses collapse within a few years of entering into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) due to a number of factors:- a) Suppliers who agreed to the CVA may later impose stricter terms of credit. b) A well drafted CVA is only a good road map in the progress of regrowth. c) Lack of sensible restructuring activity ensues. The landlords of the insolvent companies often suffer heavy losses.
Over the last quarter there has been a significant increase in the number of properties for rent in prime Central London. Just under 25,000 have become available three times the figure from the previous quarter due to the currently unfavourable market for sellers. Increased tax rates, world wide uncertainty and a possible hard Brexit have conspired to make rental values soar.
Property solicitors in London are drafting assured shorthold tenancy agreements with commensurate regularity.
The rewards of instructing an experienced, highly recommended solicitor are borne out time and time again our advisers at the Solicitors Information Service report.
A recent case concerned a driver talking hands free on a mobile phone who ran over and killed a two year old toddler in a supermarket car park. She denied causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for two years and banned from driving for 18 months.
Commercial property solicitors in London have ‘inboxed’ their employment departments to brace themselves for a substantial increase in contract work.
Purchasers have spent £1billion on retail space in central London in the first six months of this year originating particularly from Singapore and Hong Kong. The City unfortunately is not faring as well due to the Brexit vote and the uncertainty of its position with the European Union.
Conveyancing solicitors in London are anticipating a surge in clients from the Middle East due to the fall in sterling; who enjoy shopping where English is spoken. Other new instructions are expected from dollar investors and those from Commonwealth countries especially Australia, New Zealand and India who view this as a buyer’s market.
The combination of low mortgage rates and the housing shortage should keep prices up.
The changes made to entrepreneur’s relief and to capital gains tax by the Budget in March have made growing businesses and start ups more attractive as investment vehicles many commercial solicitors in London are reporting. Capital gains tax was cut from 28% to 20% for top rate tax payers and from 18% to 10% for basic rate tax payers.
Long-term shareholders in unlisted companies are to receive a boon as entrepreneur’s relief is set to be extended.
Employment solicitors in London are bracing themselves for a flurry of activity in the preparation and reviewing of settlement agreements and tribunal proceedings.
Banks such as Credit Suisse, Barclays and Deutsche are reducing their investment banking departments and some are reducing staff numbers by thousands. Challenging market conditions, unprecedented low levels of client business, exposure to illiquid inventory and an inflexible cost base have together conspired to create an extremely depressing scene.
London and the south east have been the main beneficiaries of a 71 increase to the national murder tally of 574, making it the biggest increase in thirteen years. An increase of 19% was recorded for attempted murder by police in England and Wales. This rise comes after ten years of falls in murders with other violent crimes also in the ascendant e.g. firearms offences >4% and knife crimes by about 10%. Sexual crimes rose by a third to almost 100,000 with big increases in rape 39% and 35% for other sexual offences – the highest annual increases on record. In total violence against the person offences increased by more than a quarter to just under 186,000.
Thirty children under 13 have been arrested for gun offences over the last three years. The charges include importing a prohibited weapon, possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life and using a firearm with intent to avoid arrest. Just under 230 children aged up to 17 were arrested for matters concerning guns.
There were nearly 300 arrests for terrorism offences which is down 3% on the previous year but there has been a large increase in the number of children aged under 18 and female terrorists. International terrorism rather than domestic terrorism has seen an increase in detentions. There were about 70 arrests in the last quarter of 2015 which is up almost 50% compared to the previous quarter.