London: Police will now be able to implement strict bail conditions on more suspects in high-harm cases where the victim has suffered domestic abuse or sexual violence. Campaigners welcomed the “long overdue” measures as they warned the current system leaves women in grave danger due to victims habitually not being consulted or informed when a perpetrator’s bail conditions come to an end. The overhaul, which will fall under the Protection of the Police and Public, Courts and Sentencing Bill, will mean police have to look at how to keep victims safe when choosing suspects’ pre-charge bail conditions during ongoing investigations.
Nogah Ofer, solicitor at the Centre for Women’s Justice, a leading legal charity, said: “This bill is long overdue, and all police forces must ensure that they provide the protections that victims and survivors of domestic abuse need. It is simply not good enough for officers to tell women to obtain their own civil protection orders, that is the job of the police. “We urge police forces to ensure that officers actually apply the new law and use bail conditions to protect vulnerable people. Victims and survivors should be consulted before any decision on use of bail conditions, and before bail conditions are lifted, so that officers assess risks properly.” She said the government’s “U-turn” was partly sparked by a police super-complaint the charity launched in March 2019 – adding the legislation overturns a slew of bail measures rolled out by the government in April 2017 which placed domestic abuse victims at risk.
Maya Oppenheim, Guardian, https://is.gd/MlwZkK