Home Secretary launches new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan

From: techUK
Published: Mon Apr 04 2022

On 30 March, Home Secretary, Priti Patel launched a new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan informed by victims and survivors.

Around 2.3 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last year and around 1 in 5 homicides are related to domestic abuse. The government has already made a case to prevent these crimes however, the new plan is set to go even further in tackling this threat which was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan closely reflects the ambitions set out by the recent Tackling Violence Against Woman and Girls (VAWG) Strategy and emphasises the Home Office's objectives to deal with these awful crimes. The plan also aims to deliver many of the provisions set out in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

The plan places greater importance on prevention than ever before, by improving understanding of what works' to prevent incidents of domestic abuse. The plan highlights further, more robust and relentless responses to domestic abuse perpetrators whilst examining how to deal with the most harmful abusers and taking the onus off victims and survivors.

The Home Office pledge to make the police, Family Courts and Criminal Justice System easier for victims and survivors to navigate by enabling the whole system to operate with greater coordination and effectiveness. It highlights its achievements so far, how to tackle the problem (including pursuing perpetrators), prioritising prevention, supporting victims and building a stronger system.

Through examination of available data, a wide-ranging review of the academic literature and the unprecedented volume of responses to the VAWG Call for Evidence, the Home Office identified 4 major problems which the plan seeks to address. The problems centered around the stubbornly high prevalence of domestic abuse; the significant loss of life caused by domestic abuse; the negative health, emotional, economic and social impact victims and survivors face during and following domestic abuse; and the lack of an efficient system to allow society to tackle domestic abuse.

The plan also references the need to ensure the police are being proactive and using the best available technology to assess and manage serial perpetrators of domestic abuse'.

Last year, and with the release of HMICFRS's report Review of policing domestic abuse during the pandemic, 2021', techUK hosted a session on Preventing and tackling domestic abuse in a digital age'. The session brought industry together with stakeholders from the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police, Refuge, London School of Economics and the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant to discuss how technology can better support victims, and policing's response and investigation of domestic abuse incidents. The session touched on how technology can act as an enabler and the tech sectors responsibility to ensure the safety of the technology being built.

Given the nature of the problem at hand and the encouraging publication of the plan which sets out to go one step further whilst aligning with current legislation, techUK believes there is a case to further explore areas discussed in the session last year. techUK welcomes the plan and will continue to run sessions to showcase what police forces are doing to both reduce domestic violence and violence against women and girls in general whilst harnessing the power of technology to resolve some of these key issues and reduce the horrifying figures.

The plan makes some suggestions on how to tackle the problem:

Pursuing perpetrators

  • options for creating a new register for domestic abusers which could require perpetrators to take actions such as reporting to the police when changing address or opening a bank account with a new partner
  • increasing electronic tagging to a further 3,500 individuals who have left prison and who pose a risk to women and girls.The Ministry of Justice will be increasing tagging of those leaving custody, including approximately 3,500 individuals who are at risk of perpetrating domestic abuse. We will trial electronic monitoring of curfew and location licence conditions for high-risk domestic abuse perpetrators following release from custody, using GPS and radio frequency technology.
  • investing 75 million on directly addressing abusers' behaviour, as part of an overall 81 million for tackling perpetrators over the next 3 years

Prioritising prevention

  • making it easier to access information on a partner's or ex-partner's previous abusive or violent offending by revising and consulting on theguidance underpinning the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, known as Clare's Law, to consider the timescales for disclosure and promote tools which allow online applications
  • working with the National Police Chiefs' Council to review police forces which record the highest rates of domestic homicide and serious domestic abuse crimes.

There are many opportunities for techUK and its members in helping to address the problem and to offer impactful solutions on supporting victims and survivors whilst building a stronger overall system. techUK will continue to engage with the Home Office on this crucial initiative whilst also working alongside the current VAWG Taskforce in order to align the objectives of the VAWG Strategy, the Domestic Abuse Act and the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan. Technology offers huge potential in supporting the policing of domestic abuse incidents, placing particular focus on supporting the system to allow society to tackle domestic abuse effectively and efficiently.

techUK is committed to working with its members to engage with the Home Office and policing to support this initiative and showcase the value of digital technologies.

You can find the full document of the plan here.

Company: techUK

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