Using lie-detectors could lead to ‘lazy policing’, says domestic abuse lawyer

Using lie-detectors could lead to ‘lazy policing’, says domestic abuse lawyer

Monday, January 21, 2019

Rachel Horman, a domestic abuse lawyer has said that proposals for domestic abuse offenders to face lie-detector tests when released from prison could lead to “lazy policing”.

Alongside the domestic abuse bill, the he Home Office has released analysis suggesting that the cost of domestic abuse in England and Wales is approximately £66bn a year.

Ms Horman told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “I am concerned that it does lead to lazy policing as you might describe it because with the additional pressures that the police have, it is very easy for them to fall into that.

“Domestic abuse is not really dealt with very well by the police as we stand at the moment so I would not like that to increase in basic policing at all.”

Polygraph tests are part of new measures released on Monday, which also includes a ban on the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.


'Useful tool' 

Ms Horman described the tests as a “useful tool”, adding that it was “early days”.

“It is a useful tool that can be used and there has been some success when it has been used in terms of sex offenders,” she said,

“But, it is very early days and these certainly aren’t been used in the criminal courts instead of juries. So I do have some concerns about it but I do think it is a useful tool.”

She added: “What I would not want to see is police ignore victims when they report ‘my ex-partner is being released on licence and he is now stalking me’.

“I would not like them to simply rely on a polygraph test if there is evidence from other areas.”