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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

March 21, 2005: New Familial Homicide Offence

A new offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult comes into force from today. The new offence of familial homicide, introduced in the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004, closes a legal loophole that allows those jointly accused of the murder of a child or vulnerable adult to escape justice by remaining silent or blaming each other. The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2004. Domestic violence accounts for 16 per cent of all crime in England and Wales.

This measure puts a clear legal responsibility on adult household members who have frequent contact with a child or vulnerable adult to take reasonable steps to protect the child or vulnerable adult if they knew or should have known they were at significant risk of serious physical harm from members of that household. The reasonable steps that an adult household member is expected to take will vary according to the circumstances of the case and ultimately it will be for the jury to decide if the person acted reasonably.

Home Office Minister Baroness Scotland said:

“It is clearly unacceptable that where we know one of a small group of people must have caused the death, but we do not know which one, those people should all escape justice. Where there are co –accused it is sometimes possible to bring charges of cruelty or neglect against them both but these charges do not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

“The new offence also reflects this Government’s belief that, where adult household members have frequent contact with a child or vulnerable adult, both the person who caused the death, and the person who stood by and did not prevent it, must bear some criminal responsibility for what happened."