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Tagging plan to curb domestic violence
March 09, 2018
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LONDON: Domestic abusers could be electronically tagged and banned from drinking alcohol under new government proposals to “transform” the way domestic abuse is tackled in the UK.

Unprecedented new civil orders will expand the potential restrictions courts and police can impose on perpetrators, in what the Home Secretary described as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to change the government’s approach to the crime.

Criminals who torment partners could be required to attend parenting programmes or drug and alcohol treatment to reduce the risk of them carrying out further abuse.

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 such as an exclusion zone, or a prohibition on drinking alcohol.

The document states that electronic monitoring would only be used where it is proportionate and necessary to prevent further abuse.

Campaigners said the Domestic Abuse Bill was a “unique opportunity” to make a difference to survivors’ lives, but warned that it risked being undermined unless a “long-term, sustainable” funding plan for refuges is put in place.

Thousands of domestic abuse victims are unable to access a service due to lack of available spaces, with research from Women’s Aid showing 94 women and 90 children fleeing from domestic abuse were turned away from refuges on one day in England last year.

Domestic abuse charities also urged that the changes must go beyond changes to the criminal justice system to include policies on 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.

“While we have made great strides towards equality and opportunities for women, the fact there are still thousands of people suffering from domestic abuse shows how much work we still have to do,” she said.

The Independent

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