Home Office in the media

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/08/02/home-office-in-the-media-friday-2-august/

Home Office in the media: Friday 2 August

Home Office in the media

Today's Home Office media stories include anonymity for suspects of sex offences, and Clare's Law.

Sex suspect anonymity

There is further reporting of remarks by the Justice Secretary Robert Buckland that celebrities and politicians suspected of sex offences should not be named. Victims’ groups, the Criminal Bar Association and the Society of Editors have criticised the proposal, claiming it would dissuade people from reporting abuse and favour the wealthy and famous.

A No 10 spokesman is widely reported as denying this is government policy, leading to the Sun claiming the Justice Secretary has been “snubbed” and the Telegraph writing that the suggestion has been “shot down”.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

The Government believes that there should, in general, be a right to anonymity before the point of charge. But there will be circumstances in which the public interest means that an arrested suspect should be named.

Clare’s Law

A number of papers report on the case of a woman who had applied to police to check if her boyfriend was violent but was beaten to death by him just days later.

The Mail reports that Rosie Darbyshire had made an application under Clare’s Law, the scheme designed to warn people if a partner has a history of violence, but had not received a reply from police eleven days later when he attacked her, causing 50 injuries.

The Mail, the Mirror and the Sun report that Ms Darbyshire’s family have set up a Change.org petition to cut the 35-day period allowed to answer Clare’s Law enquiries.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Our thoughts are with Rosie Darbyshire’s family.

The 35-day limit refers to the timescale within which the entire Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme process should be completed by police. However, initial checks must be carried out within 24 hours and if they identify any immediate risks at any stage of the process, officers must take immediate action to protect the applicant.

We are working with the police to improve the way in which the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is used by forces.

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