Going for Gold: Professionals’ Perspectives on the Design and Implementation of Transformative Coercive Control Offences in Scotland and England and Wales

Vanessa Bettinson, Vanessa E Munro, Mandy Burton

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Abstract

This study provides the first analysis of prosecutors, members of the judiciary, voluntary organisations and police officers’ perspectives about the implementation of coercive control offences. In terms of the design, requiring proof that the prohibited conduct caused a serious effect on the victim-complainant means a continued focus on the victim’s engagement with the criminal justice processes in England, leading to the under-utilisation of evidence-led investigations. This can be positioned in contrast to the approach taken in Scotland by police and prosecutors, where there was greater confidence expressed regarding evidence-led investigation, though this was potentially undermined at the judicial level where victim engagement and performance in court continued to be a main focus. This, we suggest requires continued training for all professionals to ensure that an understanding of the dynamics of coercive control are embedded at each stage of the criminal justice process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jan 2024

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