Research by academics at the University of Durham found that every police forces in England and Wales used restorative justice to deal with cases of domestic violence 5,625 times in 2014, the latest year figures are available.

It was mostly used at street level by officers responding to incidents as an alternative to prosecution, despite this being contrary to guidance.

Some cases were not just so-called ‘low-level offences’ but also where attacks were considered serious.

In some instances, police dropped the investigation after discussions between the culprit and victim and getting a ‘note signed to [the] effect that offender will behave‘, said Professor Clare McGlynn.