Feeds

ACPO proposes new domestic violence database

Fears over unsubstantiated and malicious allegations

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The latest wheeze to emerge from ACPO and the Home Office is yet another new law and order database – this one including individuals who are unconvicted, but against whom there exist unsubstantiated allegations of domestic violence.

Critics are also not impressed by the fact that this and other recommendations put forward this week are in a report from ACPO whose scope was limited by the Home Office to looking only at how the issue of domestic violence affects women and children – and specifically excluded men.

The report - "Tackling Perpetrators of Violence Against Women and Girls" – includes proposals to make data on "offenders" available to their new partners, the creation of a database to track serial perpetrators of violence against women and girls, and the creation of a new offence based on a "course of conduct" against different victims of interpersonal violence "without the need for constituent cases to meet the Code for Crown Prosecutors Full Code Test".

This "course of conduct" offence would also apply in cases where a victim takes their own life as a result of the actions of the perpetrator.

These proposals are not new in principle and reflect an approach to policing and law-making that the present government has encouraged. The idea of criminalising an individual for a "course of conduct" consisting of acts that did not amount, in themselves, to criminal behaviour first surfaced with the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Speaking to El Reg, the Home Office confirmed this week that it was likely that new "Go" orders, giving police the power to remove a suspected violent partner from premises without any evidence from the alleged victim, will be signed into effect by the Home Secretary before the end of this parliament.

The review suggests that ACPO would like to extend this power, arguing for police to be given the right to issue such an order without further recourse to the courts.

Meanwhile, police in four counties - Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Hampshire and Warwickshire - are already trialling a scheme under which individuals would be able to obtain information on whether a new partner was a sex offender, with an announcement just this week that the initiative would now be extended further inside those counties.

There are fears, however, that the combined effect of these initiatives will be a culture in which an individual may find their right to enjoy relationships – or even to stay in their home – is increasingly determined by reference to databases that could include unsubstantiated and in some case malicious allegations.

There is also some debate over whether it is right to put forward such far-reaching proposals on domestic violence on the basis of a report that looks only at how the problem affects one gender. Both ACPO and the Home Office were happy to confirm that this report was part of a Home Office initiative directed at tackling violence against women. ACPO were therefore asked to look solely at the effects of domestic violence as it affected women and children.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Bootnote

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.