Labour announce new perpetrator programme to target 1000 most dangerous abusers and sex offenders who pose a risk to women

Labour announce new perpetrator programme to target 1000 most dangerous abusers and sex offenders who pose a risk to women 

Under a Labour Government, the police would be required to relentlessly pursue the most dangerous perpetrators who pose a risk to women, using counter-terror style data analysis and tactics to get repeat serious offenders off the streets and keep women safe – the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, will announce at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool on Tuesday.  

The new programme, will require police to identify, monitor and target the most dangerous and prolific perpetrators of violence against women and girls. It is designed to ensure that the most dangerous repeat offenders can’t evade justice as a result of failings in policing and the criminal justice system, putting lives and safety at risk at a time when charge rates for rape are a woeful (1.6%) and as record numbers of victims are dropping out of the criminal justice system, including 36,000 rape victims in the last year alone.  

Labour says that repeat perpetrators of VAWG too often get away with their crimes, even when violence is escalating, because the policing and criminal justice response to these offences focuses on individual incidents rather than looking at patterns of perpetrator behaviour, the likelihood of re-offending and how to proactively protect women from harm.  

This new approach would require police forces to use data and intelligence on named suspects of rape, stalking and domestic abuse to devise a matrix of the most dangerous perpetrators in their area – identifying, monitoring and targeting the most prolific perpetrators of Violence Against Women and Girls to prevent re-offending and protect women from harm. Those identified are likely to have  been accused of the most serious crimes, including rape, murder, attempted murder or repeat incidents of domestic abuse against multiple different victims. Despite the seriousness of the multiple allegations and intelligence against them, too often no further action is taken, leaving them free to abuse or rape again.   

Forces will be asked to systematically rank high-risk suspects according to the frequency, recency and severity of VAWG allegations made against them. Once identified, Labour says those perpetrators should be targeted with the full armoury of police resources, including the tactics and tools normally reserved for counter-terror and organised crime, including covert and surveillance operations and most-wanted manhunts, as well as working with victims to revisit cases, compiling new evidence and witness statements in order to get prosecutions over the line, bring perpetrators to justice and put protection for victims in place.  

To support Labour’s mission to halve incidents of Violence Against Women and Girls within a decade, police forces will be asked to:  

  1. Use data on named suspects to identify high-harm offenders posing a disproportionate risk to women;  

2.   Make targeting of those dangerous offenders a policing priority; using resources and assets typically reserved for counter-terror and organised crime to investigate their crimes and get dangerous VAWG perpetrators off the streets;  

3.   Turn suspected offences into criminal offences by working with victims to secure more prosecutions.  

Mandating all police forces to adopt a proactive perpetrator strategy is designed to put tackling Violence Against Women and Girls on a footing alongside counter-terror and organised crime in terms of both the intelligence-led mapping of suspects and the resources and tools available to officers to get dangerous rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers off the streets and away from victims.  

Between them, forces across England and Wales will be capable of identifying 1000 of the most dangerous perpetrators in the country. Smaller forces will be expected to work together on data collection and specialist capability, as they already do for the most serious crimes.  

The Metropolitan Police is currently piloting an innovative programme using a suspect-led model, with positive early results, which provides a blueprint for other forces to follow.  The Met say that until now, they have never been able to identify the tiny fraction of offenders who inflict the most extensive harm on victims, but that the 100 dangerous individuals identified in their V100 programme are 1000 times more harmful than most other VAWG offenders.  

Labour will work with policing bodies like HMIC and the College of Policing to devise national guidance, alongside an independent monitoring and oversight mechanism to ensure that data-led approaches are routinely and rigorously tested and corrected where necessary. 

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:  

“Violence against women and girls is endemic in our society and under the Conservatives it has remained shamefully and persistently high. Enough is enough.  

“Under Labour, the police will be asked to relentlessly pursue the perpetrators who pose the greatest risk to women, and use all the tools at their disposal to protect victims and get dangerous offenders off the streets. The police should be exhausting every opportunity for enforcement, prevention and protection – too often failure to do so has had devastating and fatal consequences.  

“For far too long, dangerous criminals have been let off and victims have been let down. Labour will be unrelenting in its mission to halve incidents of Violence Against Women and Girls in a decade”.