Domestic Violence (Supplementary) [10]

Session date: 
December 10, 2003
Question By: 
Elizabeth Howlett
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Sir John Stevens


At the MPA I have acknowledged the work that MPA members and the Met have done on this issue. Sitting as a Magistrate I certainly notice that there is a culture change in the police. Sir John, are you actually bringing the Magistracy on board as a whole? Because I have recently sat on quite a few of these cases and maybe one of my colleagues was not quite in agreement with my judgement. The most important thing you can do while the case is proceeding is to remove the offender from the home and that is the difficulty. Also the police do say that there is enough to carry on with a case even though the witness statement is retracted, and I am glad to hear that. Are the police in communication with the Magistracy?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Domestic Violence (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Domestic Violence (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
Sir John Stevens

We are in communication with the Magistracy and some of us spend some time doing that. Where there is a need to take this forward is through the CPS in terms of the legal aspects. This is actually a quantum leap and that is why I went back historically to what our approach was many years ago and how it has advanced slightly in terms of where we are not referring people to their civil liberties. I remember being trained that if there was a domestic dispute in a house between a man and his wife or partner you did not get involved; you turned your back, walked outside and went on with your beat. That has changed. But I believe the CPS need to be part of it as well, and we have been speaking to Dru Sharpling, the head of the CPS in London. The CPS is linked in very strongly with Magistrates who are a major part of what we are doing of course.