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Croydon Protocol

Please note - this is a historical document, available only as example of models used in Special Domestic Violence Court pilots and for research purposes

  1. Definitions
  2. Identifying Domestic Violence Cases
  3. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
  4. Case Handling Issues
  5. Victim Referral Procedure
  6. Bail
  7. First Listing to Start of Trial
  8. Trial
  9. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
  10. Verdict to Sentence
  11. Committal for trial/sentence
  12. Post Conviction
  13. Breach Proceedings
  14. Review
  15. Contacts
  16. Signatories

Introduction

The Protocol aims to provide operational guidance to all criminal justice agencies and partners involved in Croydon Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC).

The Protocol should be read in conjunction with the SDVC Good Practice Guide.

The principles of this Protocol will be applied regardless of gender, disability, nationality, race or ethnic origin, age, religion and sexual orientation.

Whilst the Protocol makes reference to "victim", it should be noted that until proceedings have been proved against a defendant, the victim's status is one of a complainant. Also reference to "victim" within this Protocol does not prejudge the guilt of a defendant in any manner whatsoever.

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SDVC Project Aims

  1. To provide at all levels of the court system a co-ordinated judicial response to criminal proceedings involving domestic violence.
  2. To expand and co-ordinate the provision of victim/witness services within the criminal justice system.

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SDVC Project Objectives

  1. To improve court efficiency resulting in fewer court appearances and less undue delay.
  2. To improve victim safety.
  3. To enhance support services offered to domestic violence victims.
  4. To increase offender accountability during court proceedings and post conviction or court order.
  5. To promote informed and consistent judicial decision-making.
  6. To protect the rights of all concerned.
  7. To increase confidence in the criminal judicial system.

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Implementation date

This revised protocol takes effect from 1 March 2005.

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Protocol

  1. Definitions
    1. Domestic violence proceedings will include:
    2. "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality".

      (Inter-Ministerial Domestic Violence Group cross-government definition of domestic violence)

    3. The SDVC will, wherever possible hear all magistrates' court proceedings that falls within this definition.

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  2. Identifying Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Ensure all domestic violence cases are clearly identified as such before they are submitted to the CPS. This will be done by marking on the top right hand corner of the MG 1 'DV' on a sticker, clearly indicating that this is a domestic violence case.
    3. Stamp or mark the charge sheet, Form 57B, with the letters "DV " on all copies.
    4. On being notified by the CPS that a case falls within the domestic violence definition, mark their papers accordingly.
    5. Ensure that where the case also involves an allegation of rape, an aggravated racially motivated case, a homophobic crime or child abuse files and papers are tagged for all applicable reasons.
    6. Croydon CPS will:

    7. Endorse the classification DV sticker on the front of the CPS file jacket.
    8. Inform Croydon CJU that a case falls within a domestic violence classification should Croydon Police fail to identify such a case.
    9. Enter details of the case into a Domestic Violence Log and attach a monitoring form to the file.
    10. Croydon Magistrates' Court (CMC) will:

    11. Mark the front of the court file with a sticker to identify that the proceedings fall within the domestic violence definition.
    12. Through the Legal Adviser ensure that the Court is aware that the case falls within the agreed definition.
    13. London Borough of Croydon Monitoring Officer will:

    14. Each week collect a list of DV cases from all agencies and cross-reference.
    15. Each month collect and collate the data forms from CPS, CDVAS, and Croydon Magistrates' Court and will input this into SSPS (in full please).

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  3. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Croydon Police will:

      Initial Investigation

    2. Ensure officers reporting or attending a domestic violence incident gather and preserve the widest range of evidence and not focus solely on the evidence that the victim has to offer and/or the willingness of the victim to give that evidence. Evidence of what officers see and hear at the scene could be significant in a subsequent court case.
    3. Provide any DV victim with a CDVAS contact card when attending a DV related call out.
    4. Police responding to DV calls may be confronted with sharply conflicting accounts of what has taken place, with each party claiming to be the victim. Officers should assess whether one party may have used justifiable force against the other in self-defence (one party may make a false counter allegation and /or both parties may exhibit some injury and/or distress). Counter allegations require that police officers conduct immediate further investigation at the scene to attempt to establish the primary aggressor. Officers should be aware that the primary aggressor is not necessarily the person who was first to use force or threatening behaviour.
    5. Gather the following evidence and record all details in book 124D:
      • Any visible injuries to any party at the scene including defence injuries and arrange photographs where appropriate;
      • Any claim by any party of self-defence;
      • The lack of injury to any party;
      • Any allegation of self inflicted injury and ascertain if there is a history of this;
      • Signed medical consent;
      • Full details of the physical conditions at the scene and consider photographs;
      • Full notes of the emotional and mental state of the parties involved and any evidence of intoxication from drink or drugs;
      • Comments made by all parties. In particular, anything said by any party in the presence of the other party. All parties should be asked to sign book 124D against the record of the comments that they have made.

      In addition the Police will:

      • Consider arranging immediate examination by an FME.
      • Preserve CCTV footage;
      • Speak to neighbours and identify potential witnesses;
      • Identify witnesses within the household. Consider speaking with children who may have witnessed the incident. (Where appropriate they will be formally interviewed at a later stage by the secondary investigating officer. This will be in accordance with the Guidance for Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses);
      • Consider forensic opportunities and preserve exhibits;
      • Photograph exhibits that cannot be seized physically e.g. text messages on mobile telephones.
    6. The Initial Investigating Officer will take a full statement from the victim which should include details of:
      • The actual incident;
      • The victim's injuries (physical and emotional) and their extent;
      • Whether a weapon was used, the type of weapon and where it came from;
      • Whether any children or other witnesses were present;
      • Whether there is any damage at the location i.e. broken furniture, windows or ceramics, whether the telephone was ripped out etc; and how the damage was caused;
      • Whether drug/alcohol abuse was a factor;
      • A brief history of the relationship.

      Secondary Investigation

    7. The Secondary Investigating Officer will conduct any outstanding enquiries from the initial investigation and also gather the following evidence:
      • 999 tape if applicable;
      • Interview and obtain all other witness statements;
      • Relevant telephone subscriber and call evidence;
      • Additional forensic evidence.
    8. The Secondary Investigating Officer will take a separate Victim Personal Statement of the complainant and any other victim. The Victim Personal Statement will be included on the case papers. This will be taken even if the victim appears to be reluctant to support a prosecution and this statement will include details of:
      • The family composition;
      • The full history of the relationship;
      • Whether any threats have been made since the incident;
      • Whether there has been any effect on any children;
      • The victim's view of the future of the relationship;
      • How the incident has affected them;
      • Whether there is a history of drug/alcohol abuse within the relationship.
    9. The Secondary Investigating Officer will also take full statements from the victim in relation to any relevant incidents, which were either previously reported but not substantiated at that time or not previously reported. These additional matters will then be further investigated in line with policy.
    10. Where the victim's first language is not English, ensure a registered interpreter, (preferably an interpreter who has received domestic violence awareness training) is utilised, to assist in taking the statement and signs a statement producing the original and translation. Officers are to consider asking if the victim has a preference as to the gender of the interpreter.
    11. Never conduct an interview with the victim through members of the victim's family especially children of the family.
    12. Conduct a thorough formal interview of the suspect and where a victim has made a statement, the Officer should endeavour to put all the facts alleged in the statement to the suspect. Reference should also be made to any photographs of injuries sustained by the victim. Any corroborative evidence should also be put to the suspect. The interview must establish clearly whether the suspect accepts and admits what is alleged.
    13. In investigating counter allegations the Secondary Investigating Officer should make comment on the following:
      • Comparative severity of any injuries inflicted by the parties;
      • Whether either party has made threats of future harm against another party, child, family member or household member;
      • Whether either party has a prior history of violence;
      • Whether either party has made previous counter allegations;
      • Whether either party appeared to act defensively to protect him or her self or a third person from the injury.

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  4. Case Handling Issues
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Apply the MPS minimum standards for the investigation of domestic violence incidents when investigating all allegations of domestic violence abuse.
    3. Ensure the Secondary Investigating Officer includes the following information on an MG 6 in all files:
      • Composition of the family;
      • History of the relationship;
      • Previous incidents involving any of the parties and the outcomes;
      • Ability/willingness of the victim to give evidence;
      • Contact details of other witnesses;
      • Effect of proceedings on any children;
      • Whereabouts of children during the incident;
      • Current domestic arrangements and information, or the Officer's view on the future relationship;
      • Likelihood of recurrence;
      • Views on safety of victim and any children;
      • Information from other statutory or voluntary agencies e.g. CDVAS, Social Services, local Health Authority or Victim Support Scheme;
      • Civil orders made or pending and any breaches that are known to the police;
      • Vulnerable witness forms where appropriate;
      • Details of any Risk Assessment made. Does the offender admit the offence or admit one offence and deny others;
      • Where more than one person has been arrested details of who is believed to be the principal aggressor;
      • Has the victim previously withdrawn a case and if so why; and
      • Whether there are special diversity/equality issues for criminal justice agencies to consider.
    4. Inform the CPS of any family proceedings, if known, that are currently being litigated by the defendant and victim. Should the position change during the criminal proceedings i.e. either party commences, changes, or breaches an order or is successful in litigation, and the police become aware, the police will notify the CPS of this.
    5. Croydon CPS will:

    6. Apply the charging standards and CPS DV Policy and Guidance, for cases involving offences against the person and public order offences when reaching a decision to charge and selecting the appropriate charges. The level and number of charges should reflect the seriousness of the case.
    7. Review and prosecute cases of domestic violence expeditiously in accordance with CPS Policy and Guidance on Prosecuting cases of Domestic Violence.
    8. Comply with the Code for Crown Prosecutors at all times.
    9. Not make assumptions that calling the victim is the only way to prove a case and the CPS will consider what other evidence that may be available either to support the victim or as an alternative to the victim's evidence.
    10. Seek to prioritise requests for written, oral or telephone advice in domestic violence proceedings.
    11. Make the risk of future harm a prime consideration when considering public interest factors.
    12. In accordance with the CPS Direct Communication with Victims Scheme, write to the victim to explain the CPS decision wherever the CPS decide to drop a case or substantially alter the charge. In appropriate cases the Croydon Police will personally deliver these letters. Croydon Police will also be informed of any changes to the charge or where the case has been discontinued.
    13. Apply for Special Measures where appropriate.

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  5. Victim Referral Procedure
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Upon investigating the allegation, offer to victims a referral to Croydon Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (CDVAS) and Victim Support Croydon dependent on the perceived needs of the victim.
    3. Explain the concept of a free and confidential service at court to support and inform the victim, provided by CDVAS, and Witness Service.
    4. Witness Care Unit will:

    5. Provide the information pack (the victim and witnesses wallet), with details of support services, including Croydon Victim Support and the Witness Service.
    6. Send a letter offering the Magistrates' Court Witness Service support at the time of the trial and the opportunity of a pre-trial visit.
    7. Send a copy of the MG9 to Magistrates Court Witness Service in line with data protection.
    8. Carry out by telephone a Risk and Needs Assessment and send a copy of this to the Witness Service and CPS.
    9. CDVAS will:

    10. Contact the complainant within 24 hours of receiving the referral:
      • Explain options based on information disclosed on the phone and at interview stage;
      • Complete authorisation forms and client paperwork on the first, or in some circumstances, second interview;
      • Agree safety plans at every stage of the case irrespective of the route the complainant chooses to take;
      • In relation to civil orders, clients will be informed of their option to withdraw from the process, but will be actively encouraged/supported to continue with their involvement;
      • In relation to criminal cases, clients will be informed of the possible outcomes of any request to withdraw statements or withdraw their support as a witness;
      • Explain the positive outcomes of the SDVC i.e. judicial monitoring, community punishments to include attendance on perpetrator programmes; and restraining orders;
      • Introduce the concept of the Witness Service, as the lead agency to support the victim on the day of the trial;
      • In relation to child contact cases, support will be offered to attend court ordered child contact when such contact is to be held at a Croydon based child contact centre;
      • Assist with arranging times to arrive and leave at the designated contact centre;
      • Ensure that where there are child protection issues the victim is informed of any action the CDVAS will have to take in the welfare interest of the child and the client will be encouraged to support CDVAS referrals to either Social Services or Child Protection Team. Where support is offered and declined the Advocate will proceed with the referral, informing the client of any updates/outcomes of referral;
      • Provide access to advice on a variety of issues such as housing, immigration, benefits and employment.
    11. Refer to Victim Support Croydon (VSC) and where appropriate other agencies when the complainant's needs fall outside the CDVAS remit. When referrals to other agencies are made, the Advocate who took the initial referral will make a follow-up call.
    12. Collect and record information from the victim/witness about previous convictions and/or civil injunctions, which may be relevant to the Police case and also to the CPS for the bail hearing. Once CDVAS has passed information along to the CSU it will remain in the case file on the MG6 and MG7 forms.
    13. Victim Support Croydon (VSC) will:

    14. Support male and female victims of domestic violence (Croydon residents only) whether or not they have reported the matter to the police and other criminal justice agencies. The support is offered to all within the family unit who have been affected by the alleged offence and referral on to another agency is only permitted with the victim's consent, (except in cases involving a child protection issue or an overriding legal requirement).
    15. Assign to the victim a specialist trained worker (staff member or volunteer) who with the victim's consent will:
      • Assess needs and discuss options;
      • Offer emotional support - for as long as the client requires;
      • Offer information and practical advice on a range of issues including the Criminal Injuries Compensation and help with a claim;
      • Offer to liaise with other professionals and agencies (both inside and outside criminal justice system);
      • Refer on to other agencies e.g. CDVAS where necessary and appropriate;
      • Provide information to the relevant agencies concerning harassment or intimidation of the witness.
    16. If the victim is not a Croydon resident, Victim Support Croydon will refer them to their local scheme.

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  6. Bail
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Provide CPS with the information listed in paragraph 4.2, if the defendant is brought before the Court with an application to remand in custody.
    3. The Secondary Investigating Officer will also consult with the victim about bail conditions in order to ensure the safety of the victim and any children. The officer will also explain the victim's rights and the defendant's obligations. The officer will tell the victim that ultimately the court decides bail conditions.
    4. Undertake a Risk Assessment and bring such to the attention of the CPS so that it may be taken into account in whether or not to oppose bail.
    5. Include in the initial remand file the view on the victim and child's safety and the victim's own view on their own and child's safety.
    6. The CJU on receipt of the information referred to in paragraphs 6.11 and 6.12 below should immediately notify the victim of the court's decision.
    7. When informed that a defendant has breached his bail conditions will prioritise contacting and arresting the defendant.
    8. Croydon CPS will:

    9. Where a defendant applies for bail or to vary his bail conditions and introduces new information not previously known to the CPS, the prosecuting advocate will consider seeking an adjournment so that the Police can make enquiries.
    10. CDVAS will:

    11. Provide the CPS prosecutor with any information they are able to share that may be relevant to the prosecutor in relation to bail hearings. They will make this information known to the prosecutor before the bail hearing commences.
    12. CMC will:

    13. Always consider whether as a minimum to protect the victim's safety, it should impose a condition not to contact the victim directly or indirectly; not to go within (a reasonable distance) of the victim's home, work, or other place where the victim frequents.
    14. Expect the defendant to attend all hearings, including any case progression hearing, to maintain pre-trial judicial monitoring.
    15. Inform the WCU within the CJU of the result of any bail application within 1 hour of the decision.
    16. If a bail application or application to vary bail has been made on a day when the Specialist Court is not sitting, the Court will fax a record of any change to the bail position to Croydon CJU within 1 hour of the decision.
    17. As a matter of practice not entertain any application to vary bail unless written notice of the application has been served on all parties including the Court.
    18. Croydon Crown Court will:

    19. Notify CMC of the result of any application to appeal against a bail decision made by CMC, within 24 hours of the hearing.
    20. Probation will:

    21. Inform the Police (Borough Intelligence Unit) and the Court Administration (Listing Officer) where a person bailed with conditions to attend Probation Offices for the purposes of preparing a court report fails to attend, within one hour of their non-attendance, without a reasonable excuse. Where this is not practical e.g. at the weekend or in the evening the Probation will notify the Court by 9.30am of the next working day.
    22. All will:

    23. If made aware of any harassment of the victim/witness from the defendant or any other person contact the Police CSU and they can enable the victim/witness to make an additional statement.

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  7. First Listing to Start of Trial
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Ensure all defendants charged with a domestic violence offence and released on bail from the Police Station will be bailed to the next SDVC within the following 7 days.
    3. When a case is going to trial, the Secondary Investigating Officer will notify the CPS and the WCU of:
      • Any witness needs or vulnerability for the purpose of any application for special measures;
      • Any domestic circumstances which may affect the witnesses' ability to attend Court at short notice;
      • The need for an interpreter or any other assistance to give evidence.
    4. The WCU will be responsible for ensuring that the victim's details are passed to Magistrates Courts Witness Service or any other appropriate organisation arranging for victim and witness care.
    5. On receipt of the list of witnesses to attend Court from the CPS, the WCU will check to identify any vulnerable witness or special witness needs and will make appropriate arrangements for witness care and notify CPS and the Witness Service of the outcome of any enquiry.
    6. Provide a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer for each SDVC hearing to amongst other things assist with information for bail decisions.
    7. Croydon CPS will:

    8. Assign prosecutors to the SDVC who are trained and experienced in domestic violence cases. If it is necessary to use agents, aspire to use only agents who have been trained in DV issues.
    9. Give consideration to the best way for the witness to give evidence including the use of interpreters, an application for screens and by video link, if necessary. (At present video link is not available to victims/witnesses 17 years and over for trial at CMC).
    10. Provide written information to a victim on how to make a claim for expenses to attend court within 7 days after the trial date is fixed.
    11. CMC will:

    12. Hold SDVC sessions to deal with criminal domestic violence cases.
    13. Provide that where the defendant appears in custody from the Police on any day other than a SDVC session, the defendant will be remanded either on bail or in custody to the next SDVC session.
    14. Provide specialist training to District Judges, magistrates, legal advisers and staff.
    15. Consult on and publish a SDVC Good Practice Guide.
    16. Aim to fix a trial date within nine (9) weeks of the not guilty plea being entered. Where this is not possible the reasons must be recorded on the court file.
    17. Adopt the following time guidelines for managing the preparation of cases for trial:
      • Full file from the Police to the CPS and witnesses warned six (6) weeks prior to the trial date;
      • CPS to review the file and serve primary disclosure four (4) weeks prior to the trial date;
      • Case progression hearing to be held four (4) weeks prior to the trial date - the defendant to attend unless the Court informs otherwise.
    18. Clarify points of contact with the victim up to and including the start of the trial.
    19. Consider requiring the defendant to wait at the back of the courtroom so that the victim/witness can be informed of the bail/variation to bail decision. This will be justified whenever there has been a bail condition not to contact the victim.
    20. CDVAS will:

    21. Request from the Witness Service pre trial court visits, special entry and escort to court if necessary, separate witness-waiting areas and increased security.
    22. Ensure that the lay advocate contacts the victim and informs the victim of the potential sentencing options including the possibility of a requirement to attend the perpetrator group. The lay advocate will also inform the victim of the role and purpose of the Probation Service's Women's Safety Worker (WSW) and will give the victim the Probation Service's information leaflet. The lay advocate will then complete and return the victim contact confirmation form to the Probation Service.
    23. Inform the victim (if female) of LBC education and support programmes.
    24. Witness Service will:

    25. If they have been provided with the victim/witness details contact the victim/witness and offer:
      • Pre-trial familiarisation and court visit;
      • Information on:
        • The court process;
        • Issues of vulnerability or disability;
        • Safe transport to court on trial day;
        • Safe entry to the court building on trial day;
        • Escort to court;
        • Separate waiting areas;
        • Increased security;
        • Special Measures which CPS may be able to apply for;
        • Interpreters;
        • Expenses/loss of earnings - paid by CPS;
        • Child care;
        • Other support agencies e.g. CDVAS if requested by the victim/witness;
        • Safety planning and any other issues that are of concern to the victim.
    26. Provide information to be enclosed in the Witness Warning letter. The leaflet will offer Witness Service support, details of contact and pre-trial visit for victims and witnesses in cases of domestic violence.
    27. Provide appropriate on-going support regarding the trial process to all victims and witnesses, including extra visits to the court as required.
    28. Inform the CPS as soon as they have any information in relation to the method that the victim wishes to give evidence e.g. screens.
    29. Where requested, will telephone the victim 24 hours before the trial to confirm attendance.
    30. Croydon Housing will:

    31. Provide a telephone link to a housing officer on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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  8. Trial
    1. Witness Service will:

    2. Meet each victim/witness as they arrive at court and escort them to a safe waiting facility.
    3. Provide emotional support and relevant information to the witness throughout the day.
    4. Offer to accompany the witness in court if necessary.
    5. By prior arrangement with the Court Administration will offer a separate entrance into the courtroom.
    6. Where required, inform or make alternative arrangements to inform the victim of the case result within one hour of the trial concluding.
    7. Where required, the victim will be offered the services of on-going support from Victim Support Croydon.

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  9. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Croydon Police will:

    2. Where a victim wishes to retract their complaint take a full retraction statement, which will include:
      • Confirmation of whether the original statement given to the police was true (if the account given in the original statement has to be amended, an explanation for this should be included);
      • Whether the victim has been put under pressure to withdraw;
      • Nature of the original allegation (if not fully covered in a previous statement);
      • Victim's reason for withdrawing the allegation;
      • With whom they have discussed the cases - particularly anyone who has advised them (a solicitor, for example);
      • Whether any civil proceedings have been or are likely to be instigated;
      • Impact on the victim's life and that of any children if the case is continued.
    3. The Investigating Officer or the Officer taking the statement of withdrawal will provide a written report to the CPS of their views on:
      • The truthfulness of the reasons given;
      • How they consider the case should be dealt with;
      • How a victim might react to being compelled; and
      • Safety issues relating to the victim and any children.
    4. Ensure the Officer taking the withdrawal statement provides information on the MG 20 about surrounding circumstances covering the issues of duress, state of fear of victim and other surrounding circumstances and should be prepared to attend Court to give such evidence orally.
    5. Any withdrawal of support for the prosecution should prompt a revised risk assessment process and safety planning.
    6. Where allegations of intimidation are made, the police should investigate and consider whether further offences have been committed.
    7. Explain to the victim that making a withdrawal statement does not necessarily mean that the prosecution will be dropped and they still may have to attend Court and give evidence. In such cases the victim may be invited to make a Victim Personal Statement or add to a previous statement, to express their views as to why they do not support a prosecution and their views now on the incident/relationship/defendant.
    8. Explain the victim's options including discussion with CDVAS and/or the Victim Support Croydon.
    9. Explain to the victim that they should still feel comfortable to call the Police again, even if they wish to withdraw their support for a prosecution on this particular occasion. Stress to the victims that they should always call the police if there are any further incidents of violence.
    10. CPS will:

    11. After considering all the circumstances of the case, including any further information provided by other agencies, determine whether, notwithstanding the victim's withdrawal, it is in the public interest to proceed with the prosecution.
    12. Consider the following options:
      • If there is sufficient evidence to proceed without the victim attending court;
      • Whether an application should be made to read the witnesses statement in his/her absence;
      • Whether a witness summons is appropriate;
      • Whether to apply for a witness warrant.
    13. In cases where the first indication that the victim wishes to withdraw the complaint arises at Court:
      • Invite the Court to grant an adjournment for the Police to make enquiries into the wishes of the complainant. The length of the adjournment sought will depend on the nature of the enquiries and whether the defendant is in custody. If appropriate, the CPS will seek the same bail conditions during this process, but in any case the Court Administration will inform the CJU as soon as possible should these conditions vary;
      • If an adjournment is granted, notify the CJU immediately for the Investigating Officer to instigate an enquiry into the victim's genuine wishes.
    14. Write to the victim to explain any decision to not proceed with the original charge or any substantial amendment to the original charge.

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  10. Verdict to Sentence
    1. CMC will:

    2. Where the Court adjourns the matter for sentence and a community penalty is a stated option, the court will require the defendant to attend for assessment as to his/her suitability for attendance on the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme. Where such attendance is required and the defendant is granted bail the Court should consider making it a condition of bail where appropriate, and additional to attendance at the Probation Service for the preparation of the report itself.
    3. Where the Court Administration (Listing Officer) is informed of the defendant failing to attend a report appointment, within 24 hours of being so notified, will send a letter by first class post to the defendant informing him that the case has been rescheduled to the next SDVC.
    4. Where a report has been ordered, remind the police to seek a Victim Personal Statement.
    5. Probation will:

    6. Ensure a Probation Service Court Duty Officer obtains the request for a Report, interviews defendant, collates all paperwork, police call out information, CPS documentation and list of previous convictions. (Information from a GP and any known psychiatrist /psychologist previously obtained would necessitate the offender to sign a medical consent form). This information would need to be provided to the Probation Service, in order to assist in the preparation of a Report.
    7. Prioritise the preparation of a Report, within 3 weeks of the request. All offenders will be assessed as to their suitability for the Perpetrators Programme. A Report will usually require 2 appointments, the first serving a predominantly assessment purpose the second would focus upon Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme.
    8. Ensure that the report is written by a probation officer who has been trained in domestic violence issues.
    9. Where appropriate offer to provide a one to one probation programme if English is not the first language.

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  11. Committal for trial/sentence
    1. CMC will:

    2. Apply a standard adjournment period for committal of four weeks for a defendant in custody and six weeks if on bail.

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  12. Post Conviction
    1. CMC will:

    2. Where a community sentence with a programme requirement has been made, consider imposing a condition to attend the SDVC within a specified period at regular intervals to review progress (this could include payment of a compensation order where appropriate). Initially this may be after three months of the order being made and thereafter at the discretion of the Court. Where the defendant lives outside Croydon the Court should consider the practicalities of the defendant attending review hearings at Croydon.
    3. Probation will:

    4. Where a Court has made a requirement to attend Court to review a community sentence with a programme requirement prepare a brief progress report on the offender's progress. The Women's Safety Worker (WSW) will contact the victim of the offence/current partner to ask if she would agree to be interviewed. If the victim agrees the WSW will then contact the advocacy service to find out if the woman is in current contact with them. If it is established that there is, the Women's Safety worker will arrange a meeting with the advocacy worker to discuss roles and boundaries and how and what to communicate.
    5. Inform the Police (BIU) of the names of the perpetrators from the Croydon borough who are on the group. The Probation Service will communicate about specific risk issues to the police and Child Protection issues with Social Services and participate in any interagency meetings regarding the safeguarding of children's interest and risk to women and the public in general.

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  13. Breach Proceedings
    1. CMC will:

    2. List breaches of community sentences made in respect of defined DV offences in the SDVC.
    3. Probation will:

    4. The Probation Service will enforce orders in accordance with the National Standards.
    5. In the event of an offender failing to provide an acceptable/verified reason for non-attendance on two occasions, within five working days, on either the programme or individual session with the case manager, breach proceedings to be initiated.
    6. In the event of the whereabouts of the offender being unknown, and / or where there are active risk concerns and where the risk is estimated as high or imminent a warrant will be applied for at the earliest opportunity.
    7. Whilst breach proceedings are pending, if appropriate, the offender will continue to attend any offender programme.

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  14. Review
    1. In April 2006 this Protocol will be reviewed by its signatories.

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  15. Contacts
  16. Police Community Safety Unit

    Tel: 020 8649 1265
    Fax: 020 8649 1281

    Crown Prosecution Service

    Tel: 020 8662 2800
    Fax:

    Probation Service (CMC)

    Tel: 020 8681 7325
    Fax: 020 8688 0739

    Magistrates' Court - Listing Officer

    Tel: 020 8603 0478
    Fax:

    Croydon Crown Court

    Tel: 020 8410 4692
    Fax:

    CDVAS

    Tel: 020 8239 8848
    Fax: 020 8239 8847

    Victim Support Croydon

    Tel: 020 8686 6551
    Fax: 020 8688 6768

    CMC Witness Service

    Tel: 020 8686 0409
    Fax:

    London Borough of Croydon Homeless Team

    Tel: 020 8681 7711
    Fax:

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  17. Signatories
  18. Croydon Magistrates' Court

    Croydon Crown Court

    Croydon County Court

    Croydon Police

    Croydon CPS

    Croydon Probation

    Croydon Domestic Violence Advocacy Service

    Victim Support Croydon

    Croydon Magistrates' Court Witness Service

    London Borough of Croydon Executive Office

    London Borough of Croydon Homeless Team

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