Domestic abusers are being put on curfews which require them to stay at home with their victims, according to a report.
Inspectors raised serious concerns about the findings and said parts of the Probation Service’s electronic tagging programme required “urgent improvements” to keep people safe.
The Inspectorate of Probation report said: “Most concerningly, we saw incidences of curfew requirements being made that resulted in domestic abuse perpetrators being electronically curfewed to reside with potential victims.”
Chief inspector of probation Justin Russell said this was a “very worrying and concerning situation” and while he was not aware of examples of further crimes being committed as a result of this arrangement, he warned there was “clearly very serious potential for that to have happened”.
Mr Russell said this “implies it is happening more widely”.
Domestic abuse checks were not being properly carried out for both home detention curfew and community orders, he said, adding: “The Probation Service must look at this issue urgently – it does not make sense to place people on curfew in homes where they could pose a risk to others.”
Domestic abuse checks were only carried out in 37% of cases before an electronic tag was imposed by a court for community sentences and in 68% of home detention curfews, according to the findings.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the home detention curfew policy is being reviewed to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect victims and the public.
The inspection found the department’s multi-million pound electronic monitoring programme is “not delivering to its full potential”, with tagging often “underused”.
Only 28% of probation officers considered in the findings had been trained on the potential uses of electronic monitoring, Mr Russell said.
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