Hampshire police step up action on domestic violence

POLICE in Hampshire are aiming to take more violent domestic abusers to court – even if the victim retracts their evidence.

The measure is part of an agreement between Hampshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service to do more to tackle domestic violence.

The new protocol, signed by the force’s Chief Constable Alex Marshall and chief crown prosecutor Nick Hawkins, will see a greater focus on tackling repeat offenders.

Nearly a quarter of all domestic abuse cases reported to the police involve repeat offences.

The new measures include providing enhanced victim care and making more prosecutions, even when a victim may not want to.

Trained members of the Public Protection Unit Safeguarding Team will visit victims who retract their evidence, to support them and to continue to record evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs, of Hampshire Police, said: “We understand that victims are frequently most at risk from a coercive and controlling partner when they seek help, or try to end a relationship.

“Through this new, joint approach with the CPS, we will make sure that victims are well supported, right from the moment they first call us to the conclusion of the trial.

“We will also prosecute cases wherever we can in order to help survivors of domestic abuse break the cycle of violence against them.”

John Montague, senior district crown prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: “Our message to victims of domestic abuse is that violence, threats of violence or other controlling behaviour, be it financial, emotional or sexual, is a crime and is unacceptable.”

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