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A specific criminal offence could be created to deal with cases of domestic violence, the Law Commission has suggested in a consultation launched on Wednesday.

The proposal follows comments made during the summer by both the prime minister, David Cameron, and Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, supporting the introduction of an offence dedicated to dealing with domestic violence incidents.

Any new offence would be a response to widespread concerns that domestic violence is not being effectively policed, the commission said. It would also alert social services in future to the fact that an individual had a history of aggression against a partner.

“In addition to the wrong implicit in all unjustified acts of violence, domestic violence involves wrongs peculiar to it: abuse of trust and destruction of the sanctity of a relationship,” the consultation observed. “It has also been argued that the prosecution of offences of domestic violence has a part to play in correcting the power imbalance between the sexes.”

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