New steps in Hampshire to tackle domestic abuse

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POLICE and prosecutors are taking fresh steps to tackle domestic abuse and speed up justice.

Hampshire police Chief Constable Alex Marshall and Chief Crown Prosecutor Nick Hawkins have signed new protocol to enhance the criminal justice service in high-risk cases and ensure more is done to prevent repeat victims.

This includes providing enhanced victim care and pursuing cases to court wherever possible – even when a victim may not want to.

In cases where a victim makes a statement but then wants to retract evidence they will receive specialist support to continue to record evidence that could support a victimless prosecution.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs 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 Crown Prosecution Service we will make sure that victims are well supported, right from the moment they first call us to the conclusion of a trial. We will also prosecute cases wherever we can in order to help survivors of domestic abuse break the cycle of violence.’

John Montague, senior district crown prosecutor for CPS Wessex said: ‘[The protocol] aims to reduce repeat domestic abuse offences by supporting high-risk victims through the criminal justice process.’