Advanced Search

Gwent Domestic Violence Project

This protocol aims to:

  • Regulate relations between the criminal justice agencies, statutory and voluntary organisations involved in the Gwent Domestic Violence Project.
  • Provide operational guidance in relation to dealing with domestic violence cases within the project area.

This protocol should be read in conjunction with the following: -

The Gwent Domestic Violence Project Information Sharing Protocol.

This protocol will take effect from May 2005.


  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
  2. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
  3. Case Handling Issues
  4. Bail
  5. First Listing to Start of Trial
  6. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
  7. Post Conviction
  8. Witness Care
  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
  2. Case Handling Issues
  3. Bail
  4. First Listing to Start of Trial
  5. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
  2. Bail
  3. First Listing to Start of Trial
  4. Verdict to Sentence
  5. Breach Proceedings
  6. Safety at Court
  1. Bail
  2. Verdict to Sentence
  3. Post Conviction
  4. Breach Proceedings
  5. Resettlement
  6. Registration
  7. Offender Assessment System (OASys)
  8. Victim Contact
  1. Pre-prosecution
  2. First Listing to Start of Trial
  3. Trial
  4. Post-trial
  1. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
  2. Evidence Gathering
  3. Victim Statement Details
  4. Information included on the MG6 Form
  5. Witness Needs and Vulnerability
  6. Victim Support
  7. Witness Service
  8. Withdrawal of a Complaint
  9. Views of the Officer taking the Withdrawal Statement
  10. Proceeding with the Case after Withdrawal
  11. Cases where Indication of Withdrawal Arises at Court
  12. Probation Pre-Sentence Report (PSR)

Strategic Aims

The strategic aims of the Gwent project are:-

To develop an ongoing Service based on the one year Domestic Violence Project within Gwent.

Back to top

Definition

For the purposes of this Service, the definition of domestic violence is:

'Any criminal offence 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'.

An adult is defined as any person aged 18 years or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or step-family.

Back to top

Partner Signatories

This protocol will be reviewed.

HM Courts Service

Gwent Police

National Probation Service

Gwent Crown Prosecution Service

Caerphilly CBC

All agencies represented through the Management Group are committed to this protocol.

Back to top

Commitment from Gwent Police, including Witness Care Unit

Gwent Police will appoint dedicated police officer(s) to assist the service.

A nominated Police manager within 'C' Division will take responsibility for co-ordinating the police activity in support of the service.

Gwent police will, if required, continue to provide office accommodation for the service within the Caerphilly County Borough Area, which will enable the dedicated police officer, Advocate and other support workers to be co-located.

Back to top

  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. All domestic violence cases will be clearly identified, by marking them 'DV' before being submitted to the CPS.
    2. Files and papers will be cross-referenced where the case also involves an allegation of rape, an aggravated racially motivated case, homophobic crimes, transphobic crimes or child abuse.
    3. All domestic violence cases will be referred (with the victims consent) to the Victim Support Service and Advocate. Such referrals would also include cases where there is no prosecution or further Police action.

    Back to top

  2. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Officers reporting or attending a domestic violence incident will gather and preserve the widest range of evidence.
    2. Where possible, appropriate photographs of injuries or disruption to the scene should be taken. Consent should be obtained from the victim.
    3. Officers will endeavour to obtain a signed medical consent form or separate statement from the victim, or arrangements be made for the taking of such a statement.
    4. Officers will invite the victim to make a Victim Personal Statement even if the victim appears reluctant to support a prosecution. If proceedings follow; the Court will direct the taking of a Victim Personal Statement.

    Back to top

  3. Case Handling Issues
    1. Investigating Officers will complete MG6 Forms.
    2. The Officer in the Case will discuss domestic violence cases with the CPS charging lawyer, who will liaise with the CPS Domestic Violence Lawyer.
    3. If emergency situations prevent discussions between the Officer in the Case and the CPS charging lawyer, the Officer in the case will attend the remand court to hand papers to the prosecution and discuss outstanding evidential points.

    Back to top

  4. Bail
    1. CPS will be provided with the information from the MG6 Form if the defendant is brought before the court with an application to remain in custody.
    2. Investigating Officers will consult with the victim on appropriate bail conditions and explain what rights and obligations arise out of bail conditions.
    3. Commitment to develop and phase in as soon as possible, Risk Assessments in all cases to inform CPS decisions regarding whether or not to oppose bail.
    4. The initial remand file will include views of the victim and child's safety, including their own views.
    5. The Project Saff Team to be notified of any bail decisions and ensure that the victim is informed.
    6. Priority will be given to contacting and arresting defendants who have breached bail conditions.

    Back to top

  5. First Listing to Start of Trial
    1. The Investigating Officer will notify the CPS lawyer or caseworker and the Police Witness Liaison of any witness needs or vulnerability to enable Special Measures applications to be made where appropriate.
    2. The Investigating Officer will ensure the victim's details are recorded in the incident log prior to closure, that the log is flagged 'Domestic Violence' and appropriately closed to ensure electronic transfer to the Domestic Violence Unit in order for the Advocate to receive notification of incidents within one working day.
    3. Police Witness Liaison will check the lists of witnesses to attend Court and identify any vulnerable witness or special witness needs and make appropriate witness care arrangements.
    4. A Domestic Violence Liaison officer or member of the Domestic Violence Team will be available for each PTR domestic violence court hearing.

    Back to top

  6. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Full withdrawal statements will be taken by a suitably experienced officer from victims wishing to withdraw their complaint.
    2. The Officer taking the statement of withdrawal will inform the CPS lawyer of their views relating to the withdrawal and supply all relevant information on Form MG6.
    3. The Officer taking the withdrawal statement will provide their own statement surrounding the circumstances of the withdrawal. The Officer should be prepared to attend court to give evidence orally if required.
    4. With the most appropriate sensitivity, inform the victim that making a withdrawal statement does not necessarily preclude them from the requirement 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 on the incident/relationship/defendant.

    Back to top

  7. Post Conviction
    1. Referral to other agencies to be made, with appropriate consent, via the Domestic Violence Unit, preferably the Advocate, within time-scales to be agreed.

    Back to top

  8. Witness Care
  9. The witness care unit is an integral part of the prosecution process.

    1. The witness care unit will refer all Caerphilly domestic violence cases to the advocate.
    2. The witness care unit will contact the Advocate to inform her of the hearing date of the trial.
    3. The unit will keep the Advocate updated by telephone or fax in relation to any relevant changes in the status or position of witnesses or changes in the trial date.
    4. The witness care unit will make all necessary arrangements to secure the attendance of witnesses and maximise their comfort and convenience thereby ensuring that they have the ability to give the best possible evidence.
    5. The unit will endeavour to obtain as much information as possible in relation to reluctant or intimidated witnesses and ensure that this information is disseminated to the Advocate and the CPS.

    Back to top

Commitment from Crown Prosecution Service

The CPS will appoint a dedicated Domestic Violence lawyer to oversee the day-to-day running of the service, review and prosecute the majority of domestic violence cases within the service area and provide information and training to other organisations.

The CPS will appoint a Project manager to liaise between the DV Lawyer and the Management Group and attend the D.V. Fora and monitor the services progress.

Progressions Officer

  1. The Equality & Diversity Officer for the CPS in Wales to take on the role of Progressions Officer and Operational Delivery Officer to the Service.
  2. The Progressions Officer to be tasked with ensuring that the Actions generated by the Management Group are progressed and, if possible, completed by the following management group meeting.
  3. The Progressions Officer to work closely with the Project Manager to ensure that the overall aims and vision of the Service are promoted.

This will include:

  • Strategic links with GCJB, Area Mgt team, DV Fora (Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent) and other key groups;
  • Advice to colleagues and external agencies on CPS DV policies, protocols and monitoring of their implementation;
  • Close links with Police re delivery of local DV strategy.

Unit heads

  • Review case work, including DCNs, DCV letters, discretionary meetings etc;
  • Monitor all DV cases including all proposed DCN notices in DV cases to ensure appropriate action.

Area Management team

  • Ensure all staff flag DV cases on COMPASS;
  • Circulate analysis of DV data to all partners and provide guidance to area on any practical implications.

Caseworker

  • To be asked to produce quarterly DV report for Area Mgt Team from Compass data;
  • Liaise with DV specialists in other statutory agencies, including health and voluntary sector;
  • Liaison with victim advocate and police DVOs;
  • Work with Communications to publicise CPS DV initiatives in media, open days etc.

All Caerphilly prosecutors

  • Review, prosecute DV cases and send through forms to advocate.

Back to top

Following the revised CPS Policy & Guidance:-

  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Domestic violence cases will be clearly marked on the CPS file jacket, which should be yellow in colour.
    2. All cases will be flagged as DV on the Compass system.
    3. The dedicated Police Officers will be informed of additional cases that fall within the domestic violence classification but have not been identified by the Police.

    Back to top

  2. Case Handling Issues
    1. Charging standards will be applied for cases involving violence and public order offences.
      1. The Directors Guidance on Charging requires a Crown Prosecutor to authorise charge in DV case.
      2. Non specialist charging lawyers should, if practicable, seek advice from a specialist lawyer either calling or in writing before authorising a charge.
    2. Cases of domestic violence will be reviewed and prosecuted expeditiously in accordance with CPS Policy dated February 2005 and Code for Crown prosecutors.
    3. Consideration of other available evidence to support, or as an alternative to, the victim's evidence, will be made.
    4. Priority will be given go the safety of the victim, children or other person involved when deciding whether or not to prosecute.
    5. Prime consideration will be given to the safety of the victims, children or other person involved when deciding whether or not to prosecute.
    6. In accordance with the CPS Direct Communication with Victims Scheme, the CPS will write to the victim explaining any decisions to drop a case or substantially alter the charge. In appropriate cases. Where necessary, these letters will be personally delivered by Gwent Police.
    7. The police will be informed of any changes to the charge or where the case has been discontinued and prior consultation will take place where possible.
    8. A Special Measures application will be made where appropriate.
    9. The victim will be informed of expense allowances to attend the court and provided with the appropriate forms.
    10. Referrals to Police Child Protection Teams will be made where appropriate.
    11. A commitment to developing access to facilitate referrals on Saturdays would also be made.
    12. The DV Caseworker will assume responsibility for the transfer, by the most expeditious route of DV monitoring forms to the advocate/Project.

    Back to top

  3. Bail
    1. The prosecuting advocate will, where possible, seek an adjournment so that the Police can make enquiries where a defendant applies for bail or to vary his bail conditions and introduces new information not previously known to the CPS.
    2. An adjournment will always be sought where contact with children is raised as an issue and the views of the victim are not known.

    Back to top

  4. First Listing to Start of Trial
    1. The domestic violence lawyer will, where possible, review and prosecute domestic violence cases within the project area.
    2. Prosecutors trained and experienced in domestic violence cases will be assigned to the court of trial.
    3. All cases will be reviewed prior to the first court hearing.
    4. Consideration will be given to the best way for the witness to give evidence and appropriate applications made.

    Back to top

  5. Withdrawal of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. To enable an inquiry into the genuine wishes of the complainant, prosecutor will, in all cases, invite the court to grant an adjournment.
    2. Immediate notification will be given to the witness care team in cases where an adjournment is granted.
    3. If there is insufficient evidence to proceed to trial, the victim will be sent a letter describing why the prosecution will be unable to proceed.
    4. Where a prosecution is considered without the support of the victim a multiagency strategy meeting should be called to pool information in order to ensure that all available information is considered by the legal decision maker.
    5. Consideration to be given to the following options:
      • whether a face-to-face meeting is necessary;
      • whether victim support is needed e.g. advocate;
      • if there is sufficient evidence to proceed without a victim;
      • whether the procedure in section 23 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2003) is appropriate to make application to read the witness' statement in his/her absence;
      • whether a witness summons is appropriate and the consequences of failure to comply with a summons;
      • in certain circumstances, after careful consideration, applying for a witness warrant.

    Back to top

Commitment from HM Courts Service

  1. Identification of Domestic Violence Cases
    1. Domestic violence cases will be clearly marked 'DV' on the front of the court file.

    Back to top

  2. Bail
    1. The Police will be informed of the result of any bail application by fax to the Saff team, within one hour of the bail decision.
    2. The Court, where appropriate, will provide bail information to witness support agencies. This is key for the safety of witnesses.
    3. Written notice will be served on all parties including the Court from any party wishing to vary bail.
    4. The Crown Court will be asked to notify Gwent Magistrates' Court of any defined domestic violence case bail appeal hearings and the result as soon as practicable.

    Back to top

  3. First Listing to Start of Trial
    1. A fast-track system will be introduced whereby listing times will be allocated and buffer slots provided in ordinary PTR courts for all Domestic Violence cases. These PTR slots will be 10am on Fridays.
    2. Defendants in Police custody will be remanded either on bail or in custody to the first suitable Court.
    3. Adjournments of indictable only cases will be adjourned to the first suitable Court.
    4. Training in the area of domestic violence will be given to staff working in the Caerphilly Court.
    5. Trial dates will be fixed within four weeks of the not guilty plea being entered. Reasons must be recorded on the court file where this is not possible and the Advocate informed.
    6. The following time guidelines for directing the preparation of cases for trial will be adopted:
    7. Process Time
      Full File from Police to the CPS 21 days
      Witness warned by Witness Support Unit in liaison with DVU within 7 days of PTR
      CPS to review the file and serve primary disclosure and unused material By 1st PTR
      Pre-trial review hearing (defendant will not be excused attendance unless the Court informs otherwise) 4 weeks prior to trial date

    Back to top

  4. Verdict to Sentence
    1. Where a PSR is requested, the Court will require an assessment to be made regarding suitability for a Domestic Violence Perpetrators Programme.
    2. The Court will consider making the defendants' cooperation with the assessment a condition of bail where appropriate.
    3. The Court to inform DVU of outcome of court if, by any chance no member of DVU is present at court.
    4. The Court will not seek a Fast Delivery Report in Domestic Violence cases.

    Back to top

  5. Breach Proceedings
    1. Court to issue Summons within 5 working days and returned within 21 days.

    Back to top

  6. Safety at Court
    1. The Court will endeavour to provide safe entrances within their buildings, facilitating escorts via a separate entrance.
    2. The Court will provide a safe waiting facility for victims of domestic violence.
    3. The Court will have screens available where appropriate.
    4. The Court will be pro-active in encouraging the use of 'Special Measures' where appropriate.

    Back to top

Commitment from Gwent Area National Probation Service

The Gwent Area Probation Service will ensure an appropriate Senior Manager is available to attend Management Group meetings and an appropriate Divisional Manager is available for Project Management meetings.

Back to top

  1. Bail
    1. The Criminal Justice Unit and Domestic Violence Unit will be informed where a person bailed with conditions to attend for a court report fails to attend.

    Back to top

  2. Verdict to Sentence
    1. A register and contact log on domestic violence cases will be kept where it is likely that continued involvement on community orders/prison sentences is likely to occur.
    2. A full pre-sentence report will be prepared within 3 weeks. Victim will be contacted and consulted on PSR. The Lay Advocate will seek to contact the victim.
    3. The Service will resist requests for the preparation of Fast Delivery Reports.

    Back to top

  3. Post Conviction
    1. The Probation Service will undertake to prepare brief reports on progress to the court.
    2. The Probation Service will inform the Criminal Justice Unit of the names of perpetrators from the Caerphilly Borough.
    3. Specific risk issues will be communicated to the Police, linking with existing MAPPA arrangements.
    4. Child Protection issues will be communicated with Social Services through processes agreed in the All Wales Procedure.
    5. Participate in any interagency meetings with regards to safeguarding the children's interest and risk to women and the public in general.

    Back to top

  4. Breach Proceedings
    1. National standards will be adhered to in order to rigorously enforce compliance with the Orders.
    2. Breach proceedings will be initiated in the event of an offender failing to provide an acceptable, verified reason for non-attendance (generally two occasions, although breach proceedings will be initiated after one failed appointment where seen appropriate based on a risk assessment) within 5 working days, whilst under the supervision of the Gwent Probation Area.
    3. The Court will be notified of a breach and a summons application made within 5 working days. A warrant will be applied for at the earliest opportunity where appropriate.
    4. The offender will continue to report, attend programmes and individual sessions if this is seen as both safe and appropriate.

    Back to top

  5. Resettlement
    1. The Gwent Probation Area will seek to share information on offenders who receive prison sentences of 12 months or over for domestic violence convictions with the Police and other relevant organisations.
    2. Prior to release from Prison, the Case Manager will liaise with the Lay Advocate and other appropriate organisations e.g.: Police, Victim Support to seek the views of the victim to inform decisions on any additional License conditions that may be necessary to protect the victims of domestic violence.
    3. Should an offender fail to comply with post release license conditions, then recall to prison will be requested to the Early Release and Recall Section. If recall is agreed, then appropriate organisations will be informed.

    Back to top

  6. Registration
    1. Under Gwent Probation Area recording systems (CRAMS) all Domestic Violence cases will be 'flagged' through the registration system.

    Back to top

  7. Offender Assessment System (OASys)
    1. All cases will be assessed and reviewed using OASys.
    2. All cases must be assessed under 6.7 - Evidence of Domestic Violence/partner abuse. The Gwent Probation Area will seek to compile information on the perpetrators of domestic violence to inform case management, partnership and risk assessment decisions.

    Back to top

  8. Victim Contact
    1. The Gwent Probation Area has a duty to contact all victims of sexual or violent crime where the offender receives a prison sentence of 12 months or more. Should such contact reveal domestic violence, then the victim contact worker will liaise with the Lay Advocate. This process will take immediate effect.

    Back to top

Commitment from Victim Support Gwent (inc. Witness Service)

  1. Pre-prosecution
    1. Victim Support will provide practical and emotional support to victims of Domestic Violence who self refer or are referred by other agencies with their consent.
    2. Information will be provided about the services available from other agencies and access to those agencies supported. This will include information about the Domestic Violence project and with the victims consent; referral will be made to the Advocate.

    Back to top

  2. First Listing to Start of Trial
    1. On-going support will be provided to victims and witnesses in Domestic Violence cases including their preparation for court (arranged through the VIW co-ordinator) and court familiarisation visit(s). Details to be included of special measures, interpreters, expenses through CPS, childcare.
    2. Inform victim of Criminal Injuries Compensation and help with claim.
    3. Where particular vulnerability is identified, the CPS or court will be notified.
    4. With the victims consent, cases of intimidation will be notified to the police, CPS or the court, whichever is appropriate at the time.

    Back to top

  3. Trial
    1. Responsibility for providing support in court will transfer from Victim Support to the Witness Service.
    2. The Witness Service will meet victims, witnesses and their supporters (carers etc) when they arrive at court and take them to the Witness room. By prior arrangement, victims and witnesses will be escorted via a safe entrance to avoid fear of, or prospect of intimidation or harassment.
    3. Emotional support, information on court procedures and accompaniment will be provided to victims, witnesses and their supporters whilst they are in the court building.
    4. By prior arrangement with HM Court Service a separate entrance into the courtroom will be offered in cases of extreme violence or witness vulnerability.

    Back to top

  4. Post-trial
    1. The victim will be offered on-going support from Victim Support Gwent and there will be liaison between the Advocate and Victim Support to ensure smooth transfer.

    Back to top

Commitment from Caerphilly County Borough Council

Housing, education and social services support to the victims and their families will be provided in accordance with prevailing policies and statutory obligations.

Caerphilly Children's Services, on behalf of the Community Safety Partnership and Domestic Violence Forum, agrees to fund a Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator to provide a strategic overview of Domestic violence issues and strategic support to the Project.

Back to top

Roles of the Advocate, CPS Coordinator & Progressions Officer

To work with organisations externally to provide support for the Service overall, responding to multi-agency service and development needs and identify services that the Advocate can access for victims.

The co-ordinator will act as Communications Officer to the Management Group liasing with Communication Officers in other relevant agencies.

  • Enable the Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership to effectively co-ordinate domestic violence activity in Caerphilly. This will include responding to requests for action from the Welsh Assembly Government.
  • Forge links with other local and national for a in line with the Welsh Assembly Government's All Wales Strategy.
  • Identifying gaps in service provision, such as education, housing and health.
  • Attaining and co-ordinating multi-agency commitment and action to address these gaps.
  • Identifying funding opportunities and co-ordinating multi-agency responses to educate, prevent domestic violence and increase provisions, including the choice of safe solutions available to survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Ensuring service delivery and promoting long-term solutions.
  • Co-ordinating the communication of a zero-tolerance message relating to domestic abuse within agencies and communities in Caerphilly.
  • Develop a database across Caerphilly to identify gaps in service.
  • Provide training to various agencies aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence.

Caerhilly Domestic Forum

The Forum will continue to co-ordinate all work on domestic violence within the Caerphilly County Borough including voluntary and statutory sector bodies. The work of the forum addresses issues of protection, making perpetrators accountable and prevention.

Role of the Advocate

Job Summary

The Advocates will be expected to participate in all aspects of the project with particular responsibility to provide service support and advocacy to women who have experienced domestic violence and/or known perpetrator rape.

To work in conjunction with the CPS D.V. Lawyer to maintain procedures and systems relating to the work of the service so as to ensure the effective operation of the service.

To encourage and ensure an atmosphere of co-operation and tolerance within the service and ensure respect for different cultures.

To empower and enable women accessing the service to take responsibility for their own decisions and action; to ensure that relevant and up-to-date information and advice is available at all times.

  • Refer and liaise with appropriate agency (ies) depending on women's issues and monitor cases.
  • Make women aware of all the options available to them so that they can make informed choices, including training and employment opportunities.
  • Provide emotional support to women accessing the unit, establishing trust, building confidence, maintaining motivation and exploring ways of developing self-help and building positive relationships with various agencies.
  • Develop and maintain links with communities and organisations.
  • Provide one-to-one personal support for women.
  • To ensure that all case recording and other documentation is up to date.
  • Meet with various agencies in effort to secure safe places to meet victims.
  • Establish and develop working relationships with other agencies to help victims.
  • Contribute to the identification of own training needs and others.
  • To represent the pilot on the Domestic Violence Forum.

The advocate will not provide an out of hours service, but will work within normal conditioned hours.

Back to top

Checklists

  1. Investigation of Domestic Violence Cases
  2. Police Incident Report
    Visible injury to any party     
    Lack of visible injury to any party  
    Physical conditions at the scene  
    Disposition of the victim and alleged offender  
    Identity of other persons present at the scene, e.g. children or neighbours  
    999 tapes of emergency calls  

    Back to top

  3. Evidence Gathering
  4. Evidence
    999 tape if applicable     
    CCTV footage  
    Speak to neighbours and obtain statements as necessary  
    Speak with any other potential witnesses and obtain statements as necessary  
    Consider interviewing children in the household who may have witnessed the incident. The Guidance for Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses should be complied with at all times.  
    Forensic evidence/exhibits  

    Consideration for the inclusion on the list of the following pieces of evidence:

    • Photographs
    • Medical Evidence (the latter is very important particularly support from health is achieved).

    Committed to considering the feasibility of including how to take statements and details for files.

    Make full notes as to the emotional/physical conditions of the parties involved and the conditions at the venue. Notes should be made regarding the emotional and mental state of the victim and the alleged offender including any comments made by either party. (Any evidence of emotional, physical injury or damage could be significant in a subsequent Court appearance. Officers must be aware that what they see and hear at the scene of a domestic incident is crucial evidence, and must be recorded).     
    Record any defensive injuries and either party's claims of self-defence  
    Where it is alleged injuries are self-inflicted ascertain if there is a history of this  
    Note whether either party is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and where possible identify the substance used  

    Back to top

  5. Victim Statement Details
  6. Details in Victim Statement
    The family composition     
    The history of the relationship and any other previous incidents  
    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 threats have been made since the attack  
    Whether any children were present and if so the effect on them  
    The victim's view of the future of their relationship  
    Whether there is any damage at the location ie broken furniture, windows or ceramics, whether the telephone was ripped out etc  

    Back to top

  7. Information included on the MG6 Form
  8. Completed on MG6 Form
    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 eg Social Services, Local Health Authority or Victim Support Scheme  
    Civil orders made or pending and any breaches  
    Vulnerable witness forms where appropriate  
    Details of any Risk Assessment made. Does the offender admit the offence or admit one offence and deny others  
    Has the victim previously withdrawn a case and if so why; and if both parties allege abuse, nominate "principal aggressor"  
    Where more than one person has been arrested details of who is believed to be the principal aggressor  
    Whether there are special diversity/equality issues for criminal justice agencies to consider  

    Commitment to investigate the feasibility of incorporating the FSU9 form within the Police Division.

    Back to top

  9. Witness Needs and Vulnerability
  10. Witness Needs or Vulnerability
    Any relevant applications for special measures under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, and views as to the need for Special Measures meetings in accordance with the agreed policy between Gwent Police and the CPS in relation to Special Measures     
    Any domestic violence which may impact upon the witnesses' ability to attend Court at short notice  
    Whether any witnesses require an interpreter or any other assistance to give evidence. Providing specific advice on who should or should not act as interpreter  

    Back to top

  11. Victim Support
  12. Within 2 working days of receiving a referral (subject to availability of resources), assign the victim to a trained volunteer, who will offer: 2 working days of receiving a referral
    Emotional support  
    Time to identify and explore options in a safe place  
    Information about agencies that can help  
    Support to access other agencies, for example legal advisors, Women's Aid, Refuge, BAWSO, housing and benefit agencies and the multi-agency Domestic Violence Project (including referral to the Advocate)  
    Help to produce safety plans that build on existing methods for keeping them (and any children) safe  
    Help in attending meetings and advocate on their behalf  
    Help in applying for, and managing claims for Criminal Injuries Compensation  
    Support in court from the Witness Service, if they choose to pursue their case through court  
    Support by the to those identified as vulnerable and intimidated to access special measures  
    To provide information to the relevant authority concerning harassment or intimidation  

    Back to top

  13. Witness Service
  14. Witness Service will:
    Offer pre-trial familiarisation and court visit(s) including preparation for court in the cases of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses     
    Provide information on the court process  
    Discuss issues of vulnerability or disability including special measures which may be applied for by CPS  
    Discussion on safe entry to the court building on trial day  
    Discuss safe transport to court on day of trial (Victim Support/Witness Service are not able to provide transport or escort services)  
    Discuss increased security  
    Provide information on interpreters  
    Provide information and assistance with expense claims/loss of earnings - paid by CPS  
    Provide information around child care  
    Provide information about other support agencies including the Lay Advocate and offer referral with their consent  
    Offer on-going support by Victim Support  

    Back to top

  15. Withdrawal of a Complaint
  16. Full Withdrawal Statement to include
    The reasons for wishing to withdraw the complaint     
    Establishing whether they are saying the offence did not occur or whether they are saying that they do not wish the investigation or prosecution to continue  
    Whether any pressure, directly or otherwise, has been placed on them  
    Who they discussed the case with  
    Whether any civil proceedings have been instigated  
    The impact on their life and that of any children  

    Back to top

  17. Views of the Officer taking the Withdrawal Statement
  18. Views regarding the Withdrawal
    The truthfulness of the reasons given     
    How they consider the case should be dealt with  
    How a victim might react to being compelled  
    Safety issues relating to the victim and any children  

    Back to top

  19. Proceeding with the Case after Withdrawal
  20. Options for CPS Following Withdrawal
    Whether a face-to-face meeting is necessary     
    Whether victim support is needed  
    Whether a witness summons is appropriate  
    Whether the procedure in Section 23 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 is appropriate to make an application to read the witnesses' statement in his/her absence  
    If there is sufficient evidence to proceed without the victim  
    In certain circumstances, after careful consideration, applying for a witness warrant  

    Back to top

  21. Cases where Indication of Withdrawal Arises at Court
  22. CPS Response if Issue of Withdrawal Arises at Court
    Invite the Court to grant an adjournment for the Police to make proper enquiry into the genuine wishes of the complainant. The length of the adjournment 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 will inform the Domestic Violence Unit as soon as possible should these conditions vary.     
    If any adjournment is granted, notify the CJU immediately for the Investigating Officer to instigate an enquiry into the complainant's genuine wishes  

    Back to top

  23. Probation Pre-Sentence Report (PSR)
  24. To help inform PSR Ensure:
    Interviews with the defendant take place     
    All paperwork is collated, including; police, call out information, CPS documentation and list of previous convictions  
    The collation of all relevant information from a GP and any known psychiatrist/psychologist (previously obtained would necessitate the offender to sign a medical consent)  

    Back to top

Back to Domestic Violence Protocols index