Tower Hamlets domestic abuse leads London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai to call for abuser register
PUBLISHED: 12:57 23 August 2017
A report on domestic abuse showing Tower Hamlets to be the second worst London borough for the crime has led east London’s Assembly Member to call for a domestic abuser register.
The number of domestic abuse victims in London was 71,926 in 2016, a 15 per cent increase on the 2014 figure. One in ten crimes in London are domestic abuse and there were 6,324 incidents in Tower Hamlets in the year leading up to June 2017.
London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai has branded current protections for domestic abuse victims as “too patchy”, estimating four in ten survivors are repeat victims.
Desai, assembly member for Tower Hamlets, City of London, Newham and Barking and Dagenham, said: “Across London, we’re seeing domestic abuse increasing and we need to get serious about how we protect people from these vile acts.
“It’s time to get tough. We need to send a clear message to anyone committing domestic abuse that the police have them on their radar. I’m backing calls for a register of domestic abusers because I believe it could provide a vital step change in the way we prevent reoffending and protect people from these devastating crimes.”
The report also recommends the Mayor of London to work with the Met to re-evaluate the threshold for monitoring serial domestic abuse offenders and to continue to lobby the government for better resources for tackling domestic abuse and other crimes.
Current measures to protect against domestic abuse include Domestic Violence Protection Orders which ban domestic abusers from returning home or contacting the victim for 28 days.
The 2014 Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – commonly known as Clare’s Law after Clare Wood, a woman murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2009 - gives the “right to ask” about a partner’s violent history. “Right to know” also grants the police power to tell people about their partner’s criminal record if they think they are at risk.
In 2015 a law was introduced meaning ‘controlling behaviour’ could result in a maximum five year sentence, even if it is not violent.
However these measures appear to have failed to halt the increase in domestic abuse cases.
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