Domestic abusers to be electronically tagged in government crackdown

Domestic violence is ‘completely unacceptable’, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary says – JESSICA TAYLOR/AFP

Domestic abusers will be electronically tagged and subjected to geographical bans to protect former partners under new police powers announced by the Government.

Three police forces – the Met, Greater Manchester and Gwent – are to trial new domestic abuse protection orders under which perpetrators will be tagged and could be barred from coming within a specified distance of the victim’s home or workplace.

They would be compelled by law to notify police of any name or address change and face up to five years in jail for any breach of the order. Police could also seek domestic abuse protection notices which would require an abuser to leave the victim’s home for up to 48 hours.

The reforms will also pave the way for tougher management of the most dangerous offenders by changing the law so that anyone sentenced to more than a year in jail for domestic violence will be subject to the same protection arrangements as terrorists.

As with the most serious sex offenders and terrorists, police, prison and probation services will have a legal duty to co-operate to manage the risk posed by dangerous domestic abusers. These abusers will also be recorded on the violent and sex offender register from now on, the Home Office said.

A new digital tool to analyse police data will enable the agencies to identify the highest risk individuals most likely to commit domestic abuse offences. It will include those without convictions. In the year to March 2022, there were 910,980 domestic abuse crimes compared to 40,647 convictions.

The Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) scheme where victims can seek help and safety at more than 5,000 pharmacies in 88 cities and towns will be expanded to 18 job centres and benefits officers across the UK.

‘Appalling crimes’

Rishi Sunak said: “No woman or girl should ever have to feel unsafe in her home or community and I am determined to stamp out these appalling crimes.

“The Ask for Ani scheme provides a lifeline for anyone suffering from domestic abuse and we will continue to expand the scheme so that more people can access it, including piloting this service in the first Jobcentres.

“As well as extra support for victims, we’re making it a priority for the police to tackle violence against women and girls and toughening up the way offenders are managed – preventing more of these crimes from happening in the first place, and bringing more perpetrators to justice.”

The Government also confirmed plans to elevate violence against women and girls to the same status as terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse.

It will be added to the strategic policing requirement, meaning that police will be required by the Government to treat it as a major priority. It is an acknowledgement by ministers that there is an epidemic of violence against women that needs to be one of the most urgent national crime-fighting priorities.

Government will also require police forces to treat violence against women and girls as a national threat, as set out in a new Strategic Policing Requirement published on Monday. This means that tackling these crimes will be as important as tackling threats like terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse.

Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable crime that leads to people’s closest relationships becoming a frightening existence of torment, pain, fear, and anxiety.

“It is completely unacceptable and as Home Secretary I will do everything in my power to stop it.”

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