Government crackdown means domestic abusers could be electronically tagged

Government crackdown means domestic abusers could be electronically tagged

The Government is cracking down on domestic abuse

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Domestic abusers could be banned from drinking alcohol and electronically tagged under a Government crackdown.

New civil orders will expand the potential restrictions courts and police can impose on criminals who torment partners, spouses and other family members.

Perpetrators 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, to be published today (March 8), says 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 measure would also enable the monitoring of the subject's location to establish behaviour patterns or provide evidence of someone's movements, which in turn could help prevent stalking or intimidation, according to the document.

It says electronic monitoring will only be used where it is proportionate and necessary to prevent further abuse.

DAPOs would bring together the strongest elements from existing protective orders, while giving courts the power to set a wider range of restrictions and for longer periods than the current 28 days.

The proposed orders could be imposed at the outset of a case, when abuse is suspected but before the subject has been found guilty of any crime.

Courts could issue an order during any ongoing proceedings, including on conviction or acquittal in any criminal proceedings, the consultation says. Breaching any conditions attached to an order would be a criminal offence.

The details emerged as the Government launched a consultation to set out a host of proposed measures to be included in a draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

It will also introduce a new statutory definition of domestic abuse, which includes a reference to "economic" abuse for the first time.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the proposals have the potential to "completely transform the way we tackle domestic abuse."