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Crime: Domestic Violence

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the contribution of contact arrangements and the confidentiality of proceedings in family courts to levels of reoffending by perpetrators of domestic violence. [HL545]

The Ministry of Justice does not hold data on the reoffending of perpetrators of domestic violence. These data are not available on the Ministry of Justice extract of the police national computer, which is the source of reoffending data. Similarly applications to family courts on child contact do not require the disclosure of a criminal record so there is no way to extract or cross-reference this information. We do know that family court orders for child contact and residence are often breached but this is not a criminal offence and only extreme cases would be dealt with by way of committal to prison for contempt of court. The court has other measures such as a new order or transferring residence of the child from a parent who continually ignores court orders to someone more responsible.