username

password

Family Law Week Email Subscription 1 Garden CourtAlpha BiolabsPrettyprotected.co.uk

Guidance published on offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship

Framework assists investigations under Serious Crime Act 2015, section 76

The Home Office has published statutory guidance concerning controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship under the Serious Crime Act 2015 which received royal assent on 3rd March 2015. The statutory guidance framework is for the police and criminal justice agencies. It may also be relevant to assist the work of non-governmental organisations and voluntary organisations. It extends to England and Wales only.

The Serious Crime Act creates a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships (section 76). The new offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour in an ongoing relationship between intimate partners or family members. The offence carries a maximum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment, a fine or both.

The offence is constituted by behaviour on the part of the perpetrator which takes place "repeatedly or continuously". The victim and alleged perpetrator must be "personally connected" at the time the behaviour takes place. The behaviour must have had a "serious effect" on the victim, meaning that it has caused the victim to fear violence will be used against them on "at least two occasions", or it has had a "substantial adverse effect on the victims' day to day activities". The alleged perpetrator must have known that their behaviour would have a serious effect on the victim, or the behaviour must have been such that he or she "ought to have known" it would have that effect.

This guidance provides information on:

The guidance can be found here.

6/11/15