Home Office u-turns on domestic violence pilot


2:14 am - November 25th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Home Secretary will today announce that the government has dropped plans to stop pilots of new Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

The issue was taken up by Ed Balls and David Miliband during the Labour leadership campaign, when it was announced the Coalition was going to drop the scheme.

They were first introduced by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson in September 2009.

Last month Ed Balls sent a letter to the Home Secretary, with over 2,000 signatures, calling for the decision to halt the piloting of Domestic Violence Protection Orders to be reversed.

Ed Balls, Labour’s shadow home secretary, released a statement saying:

This is a very welcome reprieve for an important set of new powers first announced by Alan Johnson and the Labour government last year.

Over the summer the new Home Secretary Theresa May said the pilots were being halted because of the forthcoming spending cuts. But as I said at the time, the pilots should not be delayed. These orders have been proven to work in other countries and would give the police the extra powers they need to protect the victims of domestic abuse.

Yvette Cooper, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women, called on the government to back European-wide action to combat trafficking of women and girls too.

Speaking on End Violence Against Women Day today, she said:

Thousands of vulnerable women and girls are exploited and made to suffer at the hands of criminal gangs. That’s why the government must back Europe wide action against trafficking to help stop this violent abuse.

It is good news that the government has put the safety of women first and u-turned on domestic violence protection orders. Now they must think again on trafficking and drop their opposition to the EU Directive.

The Prime Minister said he saw no reason to opt-in to the proposed European Directive because it “does not go any further than the law that we have already passed. We have put everything that is in the directive in place” (PMQs, 15 September 2010, Hansard, col 873)

But the EU Directive does include new measures, currently not covered in UK law.
For example:
1. support and protection for child victims of trafficking: The Directive requires child victims to have a special representative in court proceedings when their parents cannot represent them.

2. appointment of a Rapporteur on trafficking: The UK does not have a body which holds the government and current authorities to account on trafficking policies.

From a press release

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Problem from a liberal perspective is that this focus on trafficking is sometimes misused by police to crackdown on consenting foreign sex workers and their admin and security personnel.

Which is not to say that trafficking doesn’t happen, only that the police seem to be more interested in cracking down on vice in general than sexual exploitation in particular.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Ah yes, where a police officer of inspector rank or above can ban someone from a property and the surrounding area for up to two weeks – breach punishable by imprisonment. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh no, the Tories hate women and support domestic violence.

The Prime Minister said he saw no reason to opt-in to the proposed European Directive because it “does not go any further than the law that we have already passed. We have put everything that is in the directive in place” (PMQs, 15 September 2010, Hansard, col 873)

He also said we should look at the consequences of signing up. AFAICS, no-one who has moaned about this has discussed the consequences of signing up. Instead, it’s the tired complaint that the Tories are evil child traffickers.

“Domestic Violence Protection Orders.” as 2 above says, this is a fundamentally bad idea. Being banned from your own property on the word of a policeman, not exactly liberal or following due process is it? I know it goes before a judge later but that is not going to help the immediate situation.

It also could cause other problems. A friend of mine who had to call the police because of his girlfriend’s violence was immediately arrested on the basis that “We always arrest the man”. Being locked out of his home for 2 days is going to a great additional incentive to seek help isn’t it?

I know it goes before a judge later but that is not going to help the immediate situation.

Any consideration for the woman in question here? Thought not…

5. Chaise Guevara

@ 4

I think Falco and UKliberty raise a good point about a system that can see a person made homeless for a fortnight on another person’s say-so.

Your response is the equivalent of “Any concern for the victims of terrorism when you say those being held at Guantanemo Bay should be released? Thought not.”

“Any consideration for the woman in question here? Thought not…”

A great deal of consideration, as for any victim of such horrible crimes. Any recognition from you that this does not follow any sensible definition of due process and is very likely to be abused? Thought not….

Sunny,

Any consideration for the woman in question here?

Which woman?

The Home Secretary will today announce that the government has dropped plans to stop pilots of new Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

Oh:Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia police forces will begin a one-year pilot using the domestic violence protection orders from next summer.

3 Although your example highlights the fact that some men suffer from domestic violence, the majority of the victims are women.
For too long it has been women victims who are removed from their homes, in effect, victimised twice.
Women’s refuges are often full which leaves many women, with children, being transported around in order the find suitable bed and breakfast accomodation. It is far better, if children are involved, to remove the male/female offender and leave children in their own homes.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Home Office u-turns on domestic violence scheme http://bit.ly/fEAq1s

  2. Emily Davis

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  3. Melissa Nicole Harry

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  4. Hazico_Jo

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  5. S. Vyers

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  6. sunny hundal

    @LifeDownloaded @mazzawoo here you go – http://bit.ly/fEAq1s

  7. Liberal Conspiracy

    Home Office u-turn on domestic violence protection orders; welcomed by @edballsmp – http://bit.ly/fEAq1s

  8. Kevin Ward

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  9. Alex Belardinelli

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  10. Ellie Gellard

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  13. Jos Bell

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  14. KarimPalant

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  15. Pickled Politics » UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

    […] to be published next spring.  May has committed to trialing Domestic Violence Protection Orders, a welcome u-turn.   We must do all we can to make sure this new ‘action plan’ is fully funded by […]

  16. Sparky the Stun Gun

    Home Safety News: Home Office u-turns on domestic violence pilot | Liberal Conspiracy http://bit.ly/fV4cNQ

  17. UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women « Earwicga

    […] to be published next spring.  May has committed to trialing Domestic Violence Protection Orders, a welcome u-turn.   We must do all we can to make sure this new ‘action plan’ is fully funded by […]





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