2. Following extensive consultation the Draft
Domestic Abuse Bill for England and Wales will now be
subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by a joint committee of both Houses
response to the consultation identifies nine measures that require
primary legislation to implement. These will now be taken forward in a
draft Domestic Abuse Bill, which is annexed to this document (Annex D),
together with the explanatory notes for the draft Bill (Annex E).
nine measures are:
provide for a statutory definition of domestic abuse
establish the office of Domestic Abuse Commissioner and set out
the Commissioner’s functions and powers
provide for a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and DAPO
prohibit perpetrators of domestic and other forms of abuse from
cross-examining their victims in person in the family courts (and
prevent victims from having to cross-examine their abusers) and give
the court discretion to prevent cross-examination in person where it
would diminish the quality of the witness’s evidence or cause the
witness significant distress
create a statutory presumption that complainants of an offence
involving behaviour that amounts to domestic abuse are eligible for
special measures in the criminal courts
enable domestic abuse offenders to be subject to polygraph testing
as a condition of their licence following their release from custody
place the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure
Scheme on a statutory footing
ensure that, where a local authority, for reasons connected with
domestic abuse, grants a new secure tenancy to a social tenant who
had or has a secure lifetime or assured tenancy (other than an
assured shorthold tenancy), this must be a secure lifetime tenancy
extend the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in
England and Wales to further violent and sexual offences
Reports, Reviews, Resources, Research, Consultations and
Mind responds to Mental
Capacity (Amendment) Bill
next stage of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill has begun in the
House of Commons. While we welcome reform in this area, additional
changes need to be made. The current version will strip essential legal
protections from the most vulnerable."
does this Bill do?
Bill seeks to reform the safeguards available to people who lack
capacity and who have restrictive care arrangements, such as not being
allowed to leave without permission or not being able to see their
current system of safeguards is known as Deprivation of Liberty
Safeguards (DoLS) and has been widely criticised for being too
complicated. This has resulted in a huge backlog of applications and has
left an estimated 125,000 people, including those of us with mental
health problems, without vital legal protection.
Bill will replace DoLS with a new streamlined system known as the
Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).
Michael Henson-Webb, Head of Legal at mental health charity Mind, said:
agrees that the current DoLS system needs an overhaul. The old system is
not fit-for-purpose and has left thousands of people, including those of
us with mental health problems, without vital legal protection. This
Bill will make a number of important changes, such as expanding the
scope of the system and reducing the number of assessments required,
potentially making the process work for increasing numbers of people."
“However, in streamlining the process the Bill removes a number of
important safeguards. The Bill ignores important recommendations made by
the Law Commission that would make sure that those who lack capacity are
better involved in decisions made about them."
submission to the Public Bill Committee calls for changes to three key
areas of the Bill, which would strengthen people’s rights, and empower
them or someone acting on their behalf to question decisions about their
care. All are critical amendments which have the potential to make a
real difference to those who are in an extremely vulnerable situation."
Government needs to stop and think so that it does not replace one
broken system with another and miss an opportunity to make a real
difference to the lives of those in most need of support. It is crucial
these issues are addressed to make sure the new system will help keep
people safe and make sure they are treated with the dignity they
the moment, for example, not everyone is entitled to an advocate. We
believe that everyone should be able to access good-quality advocacy –
making sure that the wishes and feelings of the individual are at the
heart of any decision being made."
Bill will create a two-tiered system of oversight, where those who
object to the arrangements will receive a more thorough and more
independent review. This will disadvantage those who may not object
because they are unable to do so."
Bill was drafted before the final report of the Independent Review of
the Mental Health Act and will provide fewer safeguards than the Review
recommended. In some situations, people could be held under either Act.
The Government needs to look into this so that people don’t get better
or worse treatment depending on which applies to them.”
Worthy of note
1. Serial killer Levi
part of a child sex gang that has not been brought to justice, according
to a council report. The report, by Hillingdon Council in west London,
looks at previously unreported links between Bellfield, whose victims
include schoolgirl Milly
Dowler, and a group of paedophiles accused of grooming at least 17
vulnerable girls under the age of 16 for sex.
The document, obtained by The Sunday Times, is by a senior social worker
who specialised in child sexual exploitation and it has been handed to
the Metropolitan Police.
2. Hundreds of vulnerable people choke to death every
year in care homes and hospitals, with official figures concealing the
true scale of the problem.
than twice as many deaths result from choking as was previously thought,
according to analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics
(ONS). This is despite repeated warnings from coroners that the same
mistakes are costing lives.
thirds of those who choke to death are over the age of 65. Care home
staff do not legally require first aid qualifications, but ministers
insist that existing training standards should be enough to deal with
Regular figures from the ONS show that each year, 200 to 250 people die
from choking on foods or other objects, which in 2016 included 24 in
care homes and 156 in hospitals.
However, it has emerged that these figures do not include cases where,
for example, a patient with Alzheimer’s choked on a meal. Such a death
would be classed as resulting from the immediate cause of a lack of
oxygen and an underlying cause of dementia.
all deaths to which choking contributed are included, the toll rises to
more than 500 a year. Last year this included 70 who choked to death in
care homes and 291 in hospitals. Campaigners suspect that many of the
cases of those who died in hospital were likely to have begun in care
Although such cases must be reported to the Care Quality Commission
(CQC), the regulator has admitted that its paper-based systems means
that regional alerts cannot be compiled into a comprehensive national
3. Pope Francis vowed justice for victims of clerical sex abuse,
describing paedophilia as one of the "vilest" crimes ahead of a historic
global meet on the crisis.
cannot refrain from speaking of one of the plagues of our time, which
sadly has also involved some members of the clergy," he said in his
annual address to ambassadors to the Holy See.
abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes
conceivable. Such abuse inexorably sweeps away the best of what human
life holds out for innocent children, and causes irreparable and
lifelong damage," he said.
Francis swore to "render justice to minors", and said a meeting of the
world's bishops in February was "meant to be a further step in the
church's efforts to shed full light on the facts and to alleviate the
wounds caused by such crimes".
litany of child sexual abuse scandals has rocked the Catholic church,
which has 1.3 billion followers around the world.
December the pontiff had vowed the church would never again treat abuse
allegations without "seriousness and promptness", calling on abusers to
hand themselves in to police.
4. From 9th January 2019 ,
companies that make unsolicited phone calls to people about their
pensions will be liable to enforcement action, including fines of up to
ban has been introduced in a bid to prevent people falling victim to
cold call scams that can lead to them losing their life savings.
many as eight scam calls take place every second - or a whopping 250
million calls a year – according to research from the Money Advice
Reports made to Action Fraud show how highly sophisticated fraudsters
have tricked people into transferring their pensions into fraudulent
5. Victims of forced marriage will no longer have to meet the
being repatriated when helped by the Forced Marriage Unit. Jeremy Hunt,
the Foreign Secretary, has confirmed the change of policy in a
letter to Tom Tugendhat, the Chair of the House of
Commons Foreign affairs Committee.
Times had reported that British victims of forced marriages overseas
were required by the Foreign Office to pay the costs of their rescue. UK
officials would help them to access their own funds, and contact
friends, family or organisations that could assist them. If, however,
they could not meet the costs of flights, food and shelter, they were
asked to sign emergency loan agreements before returning home.
letter of 8 January Mr Hunt acknowledged that forced marriage victims
will often have travelled abroad against their wishes, or under false
pretences and "may have endured particular suffering". The Government
has agreed that those victims who have outstanding loans will have no
further cost fall to them. Their passports will be unblocked.
Government will continue to seek payment of any costs from the
perpetrators by means of Forced Marriage Protection Orders.
6. The Independent
Inquiry into Child
Sexual Abuse launched
a landmark television public awareness campaign to ensure victims and
survivors of child sexual abuse have the opportunity to be heard at the
Created in consultation with victims and survivors, the Truth
Project campaign aims to encourage people to share
their experience in writing, on the phone or in person, as well as
create a public discussion around the impact of child sexual abuse.
The awareness raising campaign comprises a TV
advertisement and supporting activity across social
media networks and will run from 14 January until the end of February.
advertisement shows blank speech bubbles floating above people in
various locations across England and Wales. These represent the
difficulties many victims and survivors face in being able to talk about
their experiences of child sexual abuse.
Alongside the campaign, the Inquiry is also publishing a number of new
anonymous experiences from the Truth Project, with accounts from across
a range of institutions.
To date, over 2,000 experiences have
now been shared with the Truth Project.
7. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) surveyed more
than 10,000 people and
found sexual violence in films, to be among parents' main concerns.
film showing sexual violence will now get at least a 15 rating rather
than a 12 or a 12A. The BBFC also wants its ratings to appear on all
8. Luke Hart's father spent "most of his time belittling" his
would use money as a way to control them, stop his wife going for
coffee, call his daughter stupid and say his sons were not real men.
Then, after years of abuse, Lance
Hart killed his wife Claire, 50, and daughter Charlotte, 19, with
a sawn-off shotgun in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
his son Luke is backing a Welsh Government campaign to raise awareness
of the effects of coercive control.
28, said his father spent 26 years exerting control on his family.
And the reason to remain vigilant in all aspects of safeguarding
1. A 43-year-old man from Swansea has
been jailed for 14 online child sex abuse offences.
Kinzett pleaded guilty to an indictment that covered nine years’
offending - from 2008 to 2017.
Kinzett, of Sketty, Swansea, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in
2015 and was being investigated when the National Crime Agency and South
Wales Police also launched a joint investigation into him in 2017.
September 2017 Kinzett signed into a live-streaming chat room with his
online identity ‘UKcloudybi Perv’ while footage of children being raped
present when seven category A (the worst) videos were streamed, one
category B and one category C. He asked other users several times if
anyone had “pedo mom vids?”
he was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 45 months after admitting
14 charges including encouraging other offenders to share child abuse
2. A former teacher alleged to have sexually touched a pupil while
giving her physics tuition has been banned indefinitely from the
Brittain, 33, taught at Langley School in Loddon, Norfolk, when it was
alleged he engaged in sexual activity with the girl in school rooms.
A jury at Norwich Crown Court cleared
him of two criminal charges in 2016.
teacher misconduct panel said "on the balance of probabilities" he had
engaged in sexual touching with her.
panel said it was satisfied Mr Brittain had done so in school communal
areas between 2013 and 2014.
Mr Brittain started to give the pupil additional physics tuition at some
point in 2013 and the pupil claimed "within a few weeks" sexual touching
had begun, a
panel report said.
allegations first came to light when she told a fellow pupil in April
2014. On a school trip later that summer, when she was warned about not
smoking, she told other pupils of her sexual experiences, who disclosed
the information to staff, leading to a criminal investigation and
report published by HM Inspectorate of Probation and HM Inspectorate of
that significant improvement is needed to ensure sexual offenders are
managed effectively in prison and in the community.
investigators commended the NPS Victim Liaison Officers for their work
with victims of sexual offences, they found that uncertainty in how to
understand, support and ultimately rehabilitate sexual offenders was
failing to protect the public or address probation violations.
Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey said:
“Sexual offence convictions are increasingly common, yet despite
evidence that we can reduce the risk of these individuals reoffending,
little if any meaningful work is being done in prisons. With many
probation staff unsure what to do for the best with sexual offenders
under probation supervision, the public are not sufficiently protected."
Speaking for the Government, Rory Stewart MP said, “Nobody should
underestimate, in any way, the seriousness of this type of offence or
our obligation as a government – or as government agencies – to protect
the public from sex offences”.
read the report click:
4. More than 100,000 webpages showing the
sexual abuse and sexual torture of children have been removed from the
internet thanks to the work of the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
in 2018 – up by one third on the year before.
Announcing its latest figures, which break previous totals, their Chief
Executive Susie Hargreaves OBE described it as “shocking and deeply
upsetting” that these images should have been created in the first
2018, 4 out of 10 of the webpages the IWF actioned for removal displayed
the sexual abuse of children aged 10 years old and younger, with infants
and babies featuring more than 1,300 times.
5. Intelligence gathered by members of the multi-agency Project
Bloom group, which
was set up to tackle pension scams, has found some people who had
managed to put away more than £1m have lost their retirement funds to
Action Fraud data reveals that two people have reported that they have
lost the seven-figure sums. However, as it is believed that the majority
of scam victims never contact the authorities, this total may only be a
fraction of the total number of people who have handed over such large
average, victims of pension scams lost £91,000 each to fraudsters in
2017. They reported receiving cold-calls, offers of free pension reviews
and promises that they would get high rates of return - all of which are
key warning signs of scams.
on pension cold calling came into force earlier this month. Firms who
break the rules could face penalties of up to half a million pounds.
It is not uncommon for a person with dementia in residential care to say
they want to go home. This can be distressing for everyone. A
recent blog by the Alzheimer's Society suggests some
really useful ideas about what to say to someone in this situation
who wants to go home.
If you would like to know more about SAFE please don’t hesitate to
The SAFE Team