A RADICAL shake-up of sentencing guidelines for those convicted of domestic abuse has been welcomed by West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
John Campion spoke out after courts were told offences which take place in the home should be considered more serious than similar offences which take place elsewhere.
The Sentencing Council claim domestic offences should be treated more seriously because they represent a ‘violation of trust and security’ normally associated with intimate or family relationships.
Non-physical forms of abuse, such as threats on social media, will also now be taken into consideration.
The new guidelines, which come into effect in May, contrast sharply with those issued 12 years ago which stated offences in a domestic context should be seen as ‘no less serious’ than others.
Judges will also be urged to consider the sentence for domestic abuse on the seriousness of the crime committed and not this wishes of the victim,
Mr Campion said: “This new guidance is a huge step forward in getting the justice domestic abuse victims deserve. Domestic abuse is a dreadful crime, which is why I am pleased to see these changes could result in more perpetrators being sent to prison.
“Abolishing lenient sentencing will hopefully show perpetrators that inflicting this harm, be it emotional, physical or psychological, is simply not acceptable and they will be held accountable.”