Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fwd: Police get new powers in domestic incidents

The police are soon to be issued with the authority to issue "safety orders" for up to 72 hours, in cases where domestic violence is suspected - but there is not enough evidence to make an arrest.  This is a blatant attack on our freedoms, as it ignores our long-held principle that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Watch, as this new piece of legislation is used together with the newly ammended Section 59 - even more power for the police to take children away from parents and parents away from children, in cases where there is an allegation of a smack for the purpose of correction.

Below is an excerpt from this article in the Dominion Post (11 June 2008) on my own.

Police who attend suspected domestic violence incidents will have the power to issue "on the spot" safety orders lasting up to three days under tough law changes proposed by the Government.

The safety orders are part of a raft of changes announced by Justice Minister Annette King to the Domestic Violence Act and welcomed by support groups.

The safety orders would last for up to 72 hours and could be issued in circumstances where police suspected domestic violence but did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Other proposals include stiffening the penalties for breaching court protection orders, with a maximum penalty of up to two years jail to give judges an "appropriate sentencing range".

"When you get problems, often deaths, it is when you get breaches of protection orders," King said.

The courts would also be allowed to consider making protection orders on behalf of victims and access to counselling programmes for both offenders and victims will be improved.

The proposed law changes were currently being drafted and were expected to be put before Parliament within weeks, King said.

Chief Families Commissioner Rajen Prasad welcomed the proposals and said he hoped they would contribute toward a reduction in domestic violence.

"Better enforcement by the police and courts and better access to programmes will improve safety in families and encourage people to seek help to change their abusive behaviour."

Click here to read the entire article.

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