The most dangerous domestic abusers will be put on the violent and sex offenders’ register under new proposals aimed at better protecting the public.
Around 2.4 million people in England and Wales suffered domestic abuse in the last year, with around one in five homicides related to it, according to the Home Office.
Starting immediately, anyone jailed for 12 months or more for coercive control, including suspended sentences, will be placed on the violent and sex offenders’ register.
This means they will have to tell the police their name, any aliases and any addresses where they will be staying for more than a week.
They should also tell the police about any foreign travel, bank details and if they stay in a household with a child for more than 12 hours.
The police will also be told that they must treat violence against women and girls as seriously as terrorism and similar crimes.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable crime that causes people’s most intimate relationships to become a terrifying existence of torture, pain, fear and anxiety.
“It is completely unacceptable and as Home Secretary I will do everything in my power to stop it.”
Under the plans, the worst offenders will also be flagged electronically and required to attend behavior change programmes.
The Home Office is to develop a new digital tool to help police identify potential offenders, even those who have not been convicted.
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The government plans to spend £8.4m over two years to fund victim support schemes. The Ask For Ani scheme will be piloted in Jobcentre offices across the UK after rolling out to pharmacies two years ago.
The scheme means people at risk of abuse can discreetly make it known they need help – it has been used to access emergency support once a week on average since it started.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “No woman or girl should ever feel unsafe in their home or community and I am determined to stamp out these horrific crimes.”
Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, said: “Labour first pushed for a domestic abuse register years ago and that’s why we welcome the eventual commitment to introduce it. But the government is not moving fast enough.
“Ministers promised to make violence against women and girls part of their policing strategy requirement a year ago, after months of pressure from Labour, so it should never have been so long overdue.
“They have yet to agree to Labour’s plan to put domestic abuse specialists in 999 control rooms, nor have they taken action to reverse the shocking fall in rape allegations or the record levels of victims leaving the criminal justice system.”