Violent partners may be tracked on database

LONDON, (Reuters) – Men who violently abuse their  wives or girlfriends could be monitored on a police database so  other women could be warned about them, under a public  consultation launched by government yesterday.

“Violence against women and girls is unacceptable in any  form no matter what the circumstances are,” said Home Secretary  Jacqui Smith.

“I want to reduce the fear of serious violence that can  infringe the absolute right of women to go about their lives  free from fear.”
Last year more than 950,000 women were victims of domestic  violence and 475,000 suffered a sexual assault, according to  British Crime Survey estimates.

As Britain slips into recession, those figures could rise.  The head of the National Policing Improvement Agency told  Reuters last week that forces were anticipating a surge in  domestic violence because of the economic downturn.

The 12-week consultation will include a police review of  what new legal powers would be needed to track violent men who  move from one relationship to another on the new Police National  Database.

“Many people will think: ‘If I knew somebody was coming into  my household as my new partner who was dangerous and had been a  previous abuser of people like me and my children, I would want  to know,’“ Wiltshire Chief Constable Brian Moore told the BBC.

Moore, who leads on domestic violence for the Association of  Chief Police Officers, said one in six of all murders in Britain  were domestic violence killings.
The Home Office said the consultation would be the largest  ever conducted on violence against women.

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