Matters to be considered before giving a notice

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 10th June 2020.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office) 11:15 am, 10th June 2020

I will be brief. I have a number of concerns about the notice, some of which have, quite rightly, already been raised. Louisa Rolfe is currently a West Midlands police officer—she is just about to leave that post—and an excellent one at that, but I get the point that has been raised.

Last night, a journalism award was given to someone who investigated what happens when there is domestic abuse within the police force. In this instance, we are putting so much of the onus on the individual police officer. If a social worker suffers domestic abuse or is accused and convicted or perpetrating domestic abuse, or any other type of abuse, the LADO process—the local authority designated officer—is followed. They go through that process at work and are not allowed to work on certain areas. I just want to make sure that something similar applies in this case. Individual police forces are huge; a variety of people work for them. If issues were raised in an officer’s case, that kind of process would ensure that they were taken into consideration when deciding who within the force gives out notices. I imagine that that sort of situation would be vanishingly rare, but it is worth noting.

On breach of a notice, we are talking about victims who do not give consent. As the Minister said, I nodded—I totally agree—but if a victim breaches a notice, I do not want that to end up being used against them in court. A lot of issues came up in the sad case of the suicide of Caroline Flack