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Time to introduce a domestic abuser register, says Assembly
The London Assembly 7 September 2017 unanimously agreed a motion urging the Mayor to write to the Home Secretary calling for the introduction of a register for those convicted of domestic abuse or related offences.
The Assembly recommends that the system could work in the same way as the sex offenders’ register, allowing police to hold information on perpetrators in order to better protect survivors.
Len Duvall AM, who proposed the motion, said:
“We’ve seen a worrying increase in the number of people who are victims of domestic abuse and we need more robust action to protect people from these vile acts.
There are provisions in place but we need something more watertight. Those who commit these crimes need to know that the police have them on their radar. A register of domestic abusers could be hugely beneficial in helping to reduce reoffending and protect Londoners from these atrocious acts.”
Andrew Boff AM, who proposed the amended motion, said:
“This Assembly has never held back from standing up for the rights of minorities and in some cases, domestic violence affects men and children, as well as women. We need to realise that it can be harder for men to come forward and report domestic abuse.
A register for those convicted of domestic abuse related offences should act as a deterrent for repeat offenders and it would make the job of the police simpler.”
The full text of the Motion is:
“This Assembly is concerned that the number of domestic abuse victims in London increased by 15% from 62,546 in 2014 to 71,926 in 2016, and that domestic abuse now accounts for approximately 1 in 10 offences in the capital. We have seen from recent incidents that domestic violence affects not just women but also children and, in some cases, men.
This Assembly recognises the concerted effort of all those working to tackle domestic violence, including the Mayor, Government, police service; and those working in the voluntary and community sectors.
Changes to legislation in recent years have sought to take more stringent action against perpetrators and we welcome measures such as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – also known as Clare’s Law - Domestic Violence Protection Orders and use of Criminal Behaviour Orders. We further note the work of the MPS in tracking some of the most prolific domestic abuse perpetrators through Operation Dauntless+.
However, with estimates that 4 in 10 survivors of domestic abuse are repeat victims more rigorous measures are needed to prevent repeat offences. This is a terrible crime that disproportionately threatens women, traumatises children with lasting impact and endangers lives.
This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to write to the Home Secretary asking her to introduce a register for those convicted of a domestic abuse related offence, equivalent to that used for sexual offenders. This would shift the onus onto the offender whilst allowing the police to hold information on perpetrators, prioritise resources based on risk and better protect survivors.”