London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled tougher new measures to crack down on domestic abusers, including electronic tags for the most dangerous offenders who subject women and girls to harassment, aggression and violence. Downing Street said that as part of a change in law, for the first time controlling or coercive behavior will be on a par with physical violence.
This will mean that offenders sentenced to a year or more imprisonment or a suspended sentence for domestic abuse will automatically be actively managed by the police, prison and probation services under multi-agency public protection arrangements.
“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,” said Sunak.
“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,” said the British-Indian leader.
From this week, those at risk of, or suffering from, domestic abuse will be able to receive emergency help from one of 18 jobs and benefit offices across the UK, and a new postcode checker will tell them their nearest location to access the service. A scheme named Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately), already in operation, will be expanded to guide victims to a safe and private space and offered support to call the police or specialist domestic abuse services.
While the legislation goes through Parliament, police and the probation service have been directed to start work immediately to ensure that offenders sentenced to a year or more for controlling and coercive behavior are recorded on the violent and sex offender register.