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Electronic tagging of domestic abusers?

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Perpetrators of domestic abuse could be electronically tagged under new government proposals, in an attempt to transform the way domestic abuse is tackled within the UK.

Unprecedented new civil orders will expand the potential sanctions Courts and Police can impose on perpetrators. The Home Secretary Amber Rudd has described this as a ‘Once in a generation opportunity to transform our entire approach to this terrible crime.’  

For the first time Courts will be given express powers to impose electronic monitoring as a condition of the proposed Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs).

A Government consultation on the plans, published on International Women’s Day, said tagging could be used as part of a perpetrator’s compliance with conditions. In addition to this, tormentors could be required to comply with exclusion zones, prohibition on drinking alcohol and attend parenting programmes or drug and alcohol treatment. The desired effect of this is to reduce the risk of perpetrators carrying out further abuse. The document also states that tagging will only be used where it is proportionate and necessary.

The Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, Katie Ghose, said that the Domestic Abuse Bill was a ‘Unique opportunity to make a difference to survivor’s lives.’

Other measures being weighed up for inclusion in the new Bill include:

  • The creation in law of an Independent Domestic Abuse Commissioner.
  • Tougher sentences for domestic abuse that affects children.
  • Economic abuse will be recognised for the first time as a type of domestic abuse.
  • Enshrining in legislation the scheme known as Clare’s Law, under which police can disclose information about previous violent offending to a new or existing partner.
  • To give domestic abuse victims the same status in Court as those who have suffered modern slavery or sex offences.

Domestic abuse charities have also urged that the changes must go beyond changes to the Criminal Justice System,  urging that the policies need to include housing, education, health, immigration and the welfare system.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, said the consultation included proposals which have the potential to ‘completely transform’ the way domestic abuse is tackled in the UK, by providing better protection to victims and bringing more perpetrators to justice.

If you or anyone you know is being or has been subjected to any form of domestic violence and abuse, or the perpetrator has made an application in the family courts and you have to attend, don’t delay, contact the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department (DVAD) at Emery Johnson Astills, either by phoning 0116 255 4855, or by emailing DVAD@johnsonastills.com.

A specially trained member of staff in the DVAD of Emery Johnson Astills will be able to provide advice as to what steps you can take to protect yourself and also whether you may be eligible for Legal Aid.