• Family

    • Liberal Conspiracy
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feminism for non-lefties
    • Feministing
    • Gender Bytes
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Earwicga
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Rita Banerji
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • Southall Black Sisters
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head

  • Domestic violence ASBO trial halted


    by Rumbold
    4th August, 2010 at 9:56 pm    

    There has been a lot of controversy about the decision to scrap a plan to ban people whom the police suspected of domestic violence from their homes for two weeks, allowing their partners time to escape:

    A scheme to protect women from domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home is being scrapped by the Government as part of its drive to cut public spending.

    Under the so-called “go orders” planned for England and Wales, senior police would have been given the power to act instantly to safeguard families they considered at threat.

    Violent men would have been banned from their homes for up two weeks, giving their victims the chance to seek help to escape abuse.

    The first thing to note was that we have no idea how effective the powers were, as they were never trialled. But was it a good idea? Probably. This would have given women (and men) the breathing space they needed to escape from abusive partners, as it is difficult (and traumatic) to flee instantly, without any possessions or ID.

    What about the civil liberties aspect though? The powers were meant to target those who were domestically violent but whom the police weren’t confident about bringing criminal charges against. On one hand, this is an infringement of civil liberties (as the orders are specifically designed for those against whom the police doesn’t have enough evidence) as it places significant power in the hands of the police (imagine being banned from your home and local area because the police suspected you of something but couldn’t charge you). On the other hand it is a very specific power which isn’t the same as detention without trial (as the person would be mostly free). It could only be used by senior officers, and in many ways it seems similar to the ASBOs of yesteryear.

    How effective would it have been though? We don’t know, and that is why it is a shame it wasn’t trialled, otherwise the following question might have been answered: did the protection of the vulnerable outweigh the misuse of the power by the police?


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs,Sex equality






    29 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Domestic violence ASBO trial halted http://bit.ly/9pG5a1


    2. Jess McCabe

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Domestic violence ASBO trial halted http://bit.ly/9pG5a1


    3. earwicga

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog Post: Domestic violence ASBO trial halted http://bit.ly/9pG5a1


    4. S. Vyers

      Pickled Politics » Domestic violence ASBO trial halted http://bit.ly/aUQjO3


    5. lynseybarber

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Domestic violence ASBO trial halted http://bit.ly/9pG5a1


    6. Cambell testifies she received dirty ‘stones’ North Capitol Street

      [...] Pickled Politics » Domestic violence ASBO trial halted [...]


    7. Homestead teacher arrested, tasered for resisting North Capitol Street

      [...] Pickled Politics » Domestic violence ASBO trial halted [...]


    8. Jordanian group completes NYPD visit North Capitol Street

      [...] Pickled Politics » Domestic violence ASBO trial halted [...]


    9. Pakistan readies for more floods North Capitol Street

      [...] Pickled Politics » Domestic violence ASBO trial halted [...]


    10. A Week in Links #3 « Earwicga

      [...] scheme designed to reduce the threat of violence to domestic partners.  More on the latter from Rumbold and [...]




    1. earwicga — on 4th August, 2010 at 10:38 pm  

      I think it is a shame too. As far as I know, May didn’t scrap this scheme because of civil liberties issues, but purely on a financial basis. Is that right Rumbold?

    2. Shamit — on 4th August, 2010 at 10:49 pm  

      Earwicga - spot on.

      It was purely financial reasons that drove this decision.

      And the pilot project should have gone ahead as Rumbold has suggested.

    3. persephone — on 4th August, 2010 at 11:49 pm  

      As an aside, a commenter from the article linked to made a good comment:

      “It really ought to be called something other than domestic violence, as that title harks back to the days when it was seen as an acceptable and private aspect of a relationship.. No woman ( or man ) chooses to be in a violent relationship. Lets just stick with the modern terms of G.B.H and A.B.H that other violence victims experiences are honored with and perhaps then it can be see it for the thuggery that it really is”

    4. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:07 am  

      Rumbold - I think you mean ‘breathing space’?

      Oh, and just for the record:

      Plans for Domestic Violence Protection Orders – modelled on similar schemes in Switzerland and Austria. – passed into law in April. Although they were championed by the former home secretary Alan Johnson, they received the support of all main political parties.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-scraps-power-to-ban-domestic-abusers-from-victims-homes-2042596.html

      Given how many situations there have been recently (and always are) of men attacking women (there was the case of that granny shot twice in the head by her ex-lover - I don’t think any names were given, and of course there’s the Raoul Moat case, besides the many more of (ex) wives/girlfriends etc. being attacked or killed that don’t register), the civil liberties argument in this case doesn’t really appeal to me. I have heard too often on the news that ‘police knew X was a threat, but decided not to act on the information.’ It’s heard all too often in honour-killing cases as well.

      People need to emphasise the child abuse aspect of this as well - it sounds like the scheme would’ve given women with children a lot more time to escape. It’s all very easy to flee on your own, but if you have little ones to think of…

    5. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:08 am  

      Not meaning to leave out men, although the vast majority of cases do seem to be male-on-female violence.

    6. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:13 am  

      Earwiga:

      Yes, it was for financial reasons, but since there was no costing of it (that I could find), I focused more on the other issues.

      Persephone:

      I suppsoe we use domestic violence in the same way as ‘honour’-based violence, in order to denote a particular type of violence. Does it make it the violence more acceptable? I am not sure, but has there been any studies done?

      KJB:

      Oops, thanks for the correction.

      The civil liberties argument in this case doesn’t really appeal to me. I have heard too often on the news that ‘police knew X was a threat, but decided not to act on the information.’ It’s heard all too often in honour-killing cases as well.

      I would have liked to have seen the scheme trialled. But ignoring the civil liberties aspect is dangerous. Take terrorism. None of us like terrorists, and we want laws that stop terrorism. Yet those laws have been misused (detention without trial, spying on parents applying for schools, etc.). There is always the potential for the misuse of the law, so it should always be a consideration when passing a law.

    7. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:24 am  

      Rumbold - there is another issue here - localism. One of the big criticisms of ASBOs had been that in certain localities they have been more readily used. For me that is a reflection of local differences and a good thing. Why should local police not be free to act on local information?

      I do worry with ASBOs that there is a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      I also worry a little that wider civil liberty arguments are losing their way. Some (and not you Rumbold) seem to be saying that the only thing people involved in, say, anti-social beahviour are doing wrong is getting caught. Civil liberty does not exist to facilitate incivility.

    8. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:37 am  

      MaidMarian:

      Well, this is the is issue with localism- you can’t have consistantly. My focus in more on reducing the power of the state generally. I would like to see more power being devolved to councils, but only after people understood that this would mean more variance and therefore they would have to work harder to hold their representatives to account.

      Civil liberty does not exist to facilitate incivility.?

      No, but we need to be careful about given the police excessive powers when there is not enough evidence to charge individuals.

    9. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:59 am  

      Rumbold - Yes, but surely this is the classic problem. I for example would have no problem with the residents on a troubled estate demanding more policing and the greater use of ASBOs. Your concerns about civil liberty, to my mind, are outweighed by local choice.

      Your last point though really is nail on head for me. ‘Not enough evidence to charge.’ Rightly, in a free society, we demand a high standard of evidence, but that does not mean no evidence equates to an absence of reasonable suspicion. Take it to its extreme, OJ Simpson may be innocent, but I have my suspicions.

      How can we treat people about whom there is an entirely reasonable suspicion but about whom people either will not or can not come forward with evidence?

    10. ukliberty — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:50 am  

      How can we treat people about whom there is an entirely reasonable suspicion but about whom people either will not or can not come forward with evidence?

      Keep an eye on the situation.

      We ought to accept that we cannot solve every problem.

      And that some solutions cause their own problems.

    11. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:55 am  

      Rumbold - I’m not saying it should be ignored, but I don’t think it’s comparable to terrorism, and I do think you are overemphasising it a bit much, that’s all.

    12. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:56 am  

      ukliberty - That’s great and I suspect that few would disagree. It’s just that that laissez-faire view probably won’t cut a lot of ice with people on the wrong end of anti-social behaviour on a sink estate.

    13. MaidMarian — on 5th August, 2010 at 10:58 am  

      KJB - The terrorism point has an interesting aside. I would imagine that anti-social behaviour is a blight on more people’s lives than is terrorism. It would be interesting to know how much MP correspondence is on terror and how much on anti-social behaviour.

    14. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      How can we treat people about whom there is an entirely reasonable suspicion but about whom people either will not or can not come forward with evidence?

      And this is where the balance between liberty and security must be found. Do you allow the police to impose something on people if there isn’t enough evidence to convict them? If so, where does it end?

      KJB:

      I’m not saying it should be ignored, but I don’t think it’s comparable to terrorism, and I do think you are overemphasising it a bit much, that’s all.

      It is comprabale to terrorism (and other crime) in the sense that all law can be, and has been, miused by the authorities.

    15. reuben — on 5th August, 2010 at 2:23 pm  

      This is indeed a difficult issue. The civil liberties question is important. It is poasoble to imagine that, for example, in the contest of something like the miners strike powers like this coups be uses for the purposes of harassment.

    16. persephone — on 5th August, 2010 at 11:56 pm  

      Rumbold @6

      It leads to it being seen in a different light – when its violence in a domestic setting and with someone you know its perceived as less serious (like date rape) and allied to that it also puts the victim in a more ‘culpable/responsible’ position. Defining it by a different name reinforces that it is different to other violence.

    17. Shamit — on 6th August, 2010 at 12:25 am  

      Today’s Evening Standard has an interesting piece about the estate Damilola Taylor was murdered - and according to residents and voluntary sector in the area - things have gone worse.

      should we give powers to the police to take preemptive actions?

      Or should we not? Or should we wait until another innocent teenager is killed?

      Should we wait before another domestic violence victim is killed? or badly harmed?

      Instinctively I like to think like Rumbold but when I think my child could be threatened or killed by some stupid gang - my instinctive reactions change immediately.

      But then charges of racism crops up and people like me who make money out of media/politics - jump all over it and the cycle begins again.

      ***********************************

      That is why I liked Blair’s localism approach and proactive attitude towards bringing the third sector into public service delivery - and that is why I support Cameron’s big society.

      Some situations cannot be resolved just through laws but require community involvement - and as Maidmarian points out local choices -

      Local accountability and community assessment of public services it requires is something I strongly believe in - Imagine you are parent in the same estate where Damilola Taylor was murdered - I would want police to be preemptive and proactive.

      Not Whitehall, Not Mayor’s Office but there needs to be a mechanism for these tax payers to say these are the services we need here and now. Of course, within set national parameters and framework of laws.

    18. George R. McCasland — on 6th August, 2010 at 3:27 am  

      Could it also be because 39% of the victims are men, yet 100% of those told to leave are men?

      Annette’s Story: The Other Face Of Domestic Violence
      http://TheOtherFaceOfDomesticAbuse-Annettes-Story.org

    19. douglas clark — on 6th August, 2010 at 8:59 am  

      I agree with Rumbold @ 14. The problem with legislation that is passed under one title, say ‘Prevention of Terrorism’ is that it has been misused by bureaucrats to spy on people for other reasons entirely. It is that aspect of ‘legislation creep’ that we all have to be wary of.

      IMO a suspicion amounting to a belief is not adequate. Perhaps Police resources should be allocated to ensuring that there is sufficient evidence for a successful prosecution?

      It is, indeed, a difficult issue.

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.