This week “Kay’s Law” was launched as part of the Government’s campaign to tackle domestic and sexual abuse as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
The measures that make up Kay’s Law include putting a duty on police to consider the risk to the victim before releasing suspected offenders on bail. They should only do so when it is “necessary and proportionate”. In addition, the views of the victim should be taken into consideration before bail is granted.
The new provisions are named after Kay Richardson, who tragically lost her life in 2018 at the hands of her ex-husband after police released him under investigation. This was despite a history of domestic abuse and clear risk to Kay who had reported him for harassment and rape. Kay was murdered in her home in Humbledon, Sunderland. She was 49 years old.
Reforms brought in five years ago saw more suspected violent offenders released under investigation with few if any restrictions. Kay’s Law seeks to redress this and offer better protection to those at risk of further harm.
NCDV’s National Training Manager, Charlotte Woodward, welcomed the initiative. “Kay’s Law was introduced as part of the Government’s strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls, but it will give all victims of abuse a voice, whatever their gender, and involve them in crucial decisions that will help save lives.”