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New court to deal exclusively with domestic violence cases

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 05 October 2010

A SPECIALIST domestic violence court is to be convened every week to deal with offenders more swiftly and effectively. The court, which will take over one court room at Thames Magistrates Court in Bow for one day every week will give specialist support to

A SPECIALIST domestic violence court is to be convened every week to deal with offenders more swiftly and effectively.

The court, which will take over one court room at Thames Magistrates Court in Bow for one day every week will give specialist support to victims and will be run by magistrates and district judges specially trained in domestic violence cases and will be supported by trained staff legal advisors, crown prosecutors and a specialist domestic violence court co-ordinator.

A range of new safety and support measures will help victims and witnesses of domestic violence coming to court, including separate entrances and waiting rooms.

Victims and witnesses will also have independent domestic violence advisors in the court room offering them free emotional and practical support.

The Witness Service will also offer pre-court visits, which will allow them to familiarise themselves with the court and to request safety measures for their trial day.

Between April 2008 and March 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service in Tower Hamlets dealt with 240 domestic violence prosecutions, resulting in 143 convictions, giving a 59.6 per cent conviction rate.

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