Domestic abusers will be put on the sex offenders register under new UK plans
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: George Joseph / ronstik / Alamy Stock Photo
The most dangerous domestic abusers will be recorded on the violent and sex offender register under new UK plans.
Anyone with a conviction for controlling or coercive behaviour sentenced to at least a year or a suspended sentence will be placed on the register from now on.
The law will be changed so that police, prison and probation services have to jointly manage such offenders in order to better protect the public.
The government also plans to invest up to £8.4 million over two years to fund specialist victim support programmes, making police prioritise tackling violence against women and girls, treating it as seriously as terrorism.
Around 2.4 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the last year, and around one in five homicides are related to it, according to the Home Office.
New civil orders being trialled in three areas in the UK could also see offenders electronically tagged and made to attend behaviour change programmes.
Meanwhile, the Ask for Ani codeword scheme – which allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal they need help – will now be piloted in Jobcentre offices across the country.
The scheme was initially launched in 2021 in pharmacies, with emergency support accessed on average once a week since then.
Prime Minister 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.
‘I believe you’... Just three reassuring words can make all the difference to a survivor. Your words have a significant impact, make sure you are using the right ones.— Refuge (@RefugeCharity) February 16, 2023
Find out how you can best support a survivor >> https://t.co/1ZwSQFmbcV pic.twitter.com/7MtZ9HQLc0
"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."
Violence against women and girls is for the first time categorised as a national threat in the new strategic policing requirement published by the Home Secretary today (Monday 20 February).
That means police forces will have to treat it on a par with terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse.
Suella Braverman 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."
Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said it was too little too late from the Government.
"Labour first pushed for a domestic abuse register years ago and so we welcome the eventual commitment to introduce one," she said. "But the Government isn't moving quickly enough.
"Ministers promised to make violence against women and girls part of the strategic policing requirement a year ago, after months of pressure from Labour, so it should never have been delayed for this long.
"They still haven’t agreed to Labour's plan to put domestic abuse specialists into 999 control rooms, nor have they taken action to reverse the shocking collapse in rape charges or record levels of victims dropping out of the criminal justice system."