MPs have defended police following criticisms levelled at the West York-shire Force’s handling of domestic abuse, but said lessons must be learned.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released a report following a probe of all 43 police forces across the country.

And in West Yorkshire, there were concerns about weaknesses in the way the force dealt with domestic abuse.

HMIC said although the force made the issue a clear priority, it was “concerned there are a number of inconsistencies in the processes and across the force area”.

Domestic abuse accounts for seven per cent of calls to the police for assistance in West Yorkshire. In the year ending August 2013, 4,089 of 11,010 assaults with injury were domestic abuse-related.

Keighley Tory MP Kris Hopkins said: “Domestic violence is incredibly serious and, as these figures demonstrate, a worryingly common occurrence in our society.

“The report’s findings must be studied very closely to ensure lessons are learned and improvements made.”

Commons colleague Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes Cullingworth and Denholme, agreed the police must learn from the report.

He said: “Domestic violence is an extremely serious offence, and in all the time I have spent with West Yorkshire Police, I have seen at first-hand how seriously they take it.

“Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, and I am sure they will be grateful to HMIC for highlighting areas where their performance can be improved, and I have every confidence they will take on board recommendations.”