Electronic tagging proposal for domestic abuse suspects

Electronic tagging proposal for domestic abuse suspects

A consultation has been launched looking into ways of targeting domestic abuse suspects and protecting their victims.

The new Civil Protection Order proposes measures such as banning suspects from making contact with their victims, prohibiting alcohol and drugs, and using electronic tagging to keep track of their movements. Failure to observe the Civil Protection Order would see domestic abuse suspects facing criminal action.

The consultation was launched by the Prime Minister as part of a wider look into what would be included on the Government’s forthcoming domestic abuse bill. Already a new definition of abuse has been raised, which would incorporate economic abuse, tackling abusive partners who withhold access to money or food, clothing and other necessities. It would also cover abusers who force their victims to take out loans.

Other proposals for targeting domestic abusers include:

· A new domestic abuse commissioner

· Protection for victims in court rooms, such as testifying by video-link or behind screens

· Harsher sentencing in cases that involve children.

The proposed civil protection orders would enable abusers to be monitored via the electronic tag, ensuring they were not breaching the conditions of their order. The courts would have the power to determine how long it must be adhered to, unlike the present orders which are limited to 28 days.

The founder of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, Harry Fletcher, welcomed the proposals set down in the draft Bill, but added: “The Government’s future domestic abuse reforms will only be effective if they are properly funded.”