Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation

silhouette of figureTransforming the response to domestic abuse

Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Opened 8 Mar 2018
Closes 31 May 2018

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws which would transform our approach to this terrible crime.

The consultation launched today (Thursday 8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

To ensure they get this landmark legislation right the Government now want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, front line professionals, charities and the public, to gather views on how, together, we can best put a stop to it once and for all.

This consultation seeks to address domestic abuse at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation. It references the connections and provisions of cross-sector agencies and departments and reinforces the Government’s aim to make domestic abuse everyone’s business.

By consulting the Government aims to harness the knowledge and expertise of victims and survivors, support organisations and research experts. They are also interested in the views of professionals across policing, criminal justice, health, welfare, education and local authorities who deal with these issues everyday.

The main aim through this work is to prevent domestic abuse by challenging the acceptability of abuse and addressing the underlying attitudes and norms that perpetuate it. This consultation asks questions under four main themes with the central aim of prevention running through each.

  • Promote awareness – to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone’s agenda, and raise public and professionals’ awareness.
  • Protect and support – to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Pursue and deter – to provide an effective response to perpetrators from initial agency response through to conviction and management of offenders, including rehabilitation.
  • Improve Performance – to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

For each of these themes the current position is outlined and any potential areas identified where it is thought more could be done. These areas will be at different stages of development, and the accompanying questions will reflect this. In some instances feedback will be requested on specific proposals, whilst in others evidence or experiences will be asked for to further understand the problem.

The consultation includes some topics which are complex and/or technical.

Participate in this consultation

There are two versions of the consultation questionnaire:

Full version

Short Version


Transforming the response to domestic abuse 1.8 MB (PDF document)

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse
Home Office and Ministry of Justice  08 March 2018

Doorstep criminal alerts

Kent County Council have issued two alerts of fraudulent activity:

Bogus Police and Trading Standards Officers

Kent Trading Standards and Kent Police have received reports of criminals contacting residents by phone or in person claiming to be a Police or Trading Standards Officer. They will often refer to some previous poor work that might have been carried out and falsely claim the people involved have been arrested or are already in court.They insist the resident pays money which will be reimbursed after the court hearing.

The Police, Trading Standards, or the Court, would never ask for money – under any circumstances.

This type of fraudulent activity is on the rise so please report calls or visits to Kent Police. Residents that have previously been victims of doorstep crime are particularly at risk so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.

Report to Kent Police on 101 or at your local Police station.

Report it to Kent Police online

Criminals taking advantage of the bad weather

Doorstep criminals will take advantage of the current bad weather. Anyone calling at your home offering to do work on your roof, guttering, driveway, or inside your property, should be treated with caution.

Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.

For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep criminals to us.

Report it

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service or

phone 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council Public Protection  01 March 2018

Expansion of domestic abuse services

silhouette of figureDomestic abuse services will continue to expand in Ashford, thanks to the ongoing success of a strong multi-agency network programme.

At last night’s meeting, Ashford Borough Council’s Cabinet paid tribute to the ongoing success of Ashford Domestic Abuse Forum (ADAF), which works alongside professionals in the health, police, fire, voluntary, local authority and charitable sectors to support those seeking help. The charity’s achievements include the Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, and a series of victim programmes.

ADAF is now introducing a new scheme in Ashford – in conjunction with the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company – aimed at helping perpetrators understand the impact they are having. A new rural drop-in service which may further improve provision for those across the borough is also being considered.

Additional funding has already been secured to provide a support network for both adolescent girls and boys, young women, and a specialist one-to-one service for children affected by domestic violence.

The Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, a weekly drop-in centre where victims can receive advice and support, received 443 visitors between July 2016 and June 2017 – a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2015-16.

It is believed the increase is due to the leadership, delivery and awareness of the facility, which is enabling victims to speak out. It is the second busiest One Stop Shop in the county, with 20% of those attending doing so on more than one occasion.

Ashford Borough Council funds the full-time domestic abuse coordinator post, as well as providing money towards an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), who is the primary contact for victims of domestic abuse. The council was also successful in bidding for funds to provide emergency accommodation to female victims of domestic violence.

Councillor Brad Bradford, Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, said: “The council continues to play an important role in coordinating the response to domestic abuse. This ensures that Ashford has many excellent services committed to supporting such a worthwhile cause.

“This report highlights the marvellous work that has been undertaken by a range of agencies and I am impressed by the future work plan.”

The Ashford One Stop Shop is open every Tuesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Willows Centre, Brookfield Road.

For information on other services available and other One Stop Shop’s across the county go to

Ashford Borough Council  14 February 2018

Flight Ticket Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad.

Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed.

Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays.

Prevention Advice:

  • Pay safe: Be cautious if you’re asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer is like paying by cash – the money is very difficult to trace and is not refundable. Wherever possible, pay by credit card or a debit card.
  • Conduct research on any company you’re considering purchasing tickets from; for example, are there any negative reviews or forum posts by previous customers online? Don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials.
  • Check any company website thoroughly; does it look professional? Are there any spelling mistakes or irregularities? There should be a valid landline phone number and a full postal address so that the company can be contacted. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO Box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
  • Be aware that purchasing tickets from a third party, particularly when initial contact has been made via a social media platform can be incredibly risky.
  • If tickets to your intended destination appear cheaper than any other vendor, always consider this; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, at

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting

Action Fraud  07 February 2018

Phantom Debt Fraud Alert

Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent. The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt.

The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest. From the reports Action Fraud has received, this type of fraud is presently occurring throughout the UK.

It is important to recognise that there are key differences between the various entities who seek to settle debts or outstanding fees in England and Wales. These differences range from the type of debt they will enforce to the legal powers they possess. To learn more, please take a look at some of the helpful information and links on the Step Change Debt Charity website;

Protect Yourself

  • Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you.
  • If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal.
  • If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent.
  • Exercise caution believing someone is genuine because you’ve found something on the internet; fraudsters could easily create fake online profiles to make you believe them.
  • Double check with the court, company or public body they claim to work for to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the caller could still be on the line and you could potentially speak to the fraudster(s) to confirm the non-existent debt. Also be sure to independently search for a telephone number to call; never use a number provided by the caller without carrying out your own research.
  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. Take five and listen to your instincts.
  • If you know you have a debt, keep in regular contact with your creditor and be sure to establish the debt type at the earliest opportunity if you are not aware. This will help you to understand who might be in contact with you regarding any repayments or arrears.

You can report suspicious calls like these to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Action Fraud 31 January 2018

ABC: Report it

Let's work together to make the borough a better placeAshford Borough Council has improved its online reporting system, making it easier for residents to report issues such as:

  • Flytipping
  • Littering
  • Dog fouling
  • Vandalism
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Planning enforcement

The new system replaces some online forms and allows residents to report incidents and then track their progress via a unique reference number.

Compensation for scam victims who used Western Union

For years, fraudsters have used Western Union as a way to receive money from scam victims. Following an investigation in America, Western Union agreed to refund victims who sent money to fraudsters between 1 January 2004 and 19 January 2017.  If you lost money to a scam during this time you may be entitled to receive a percentage of the amount you lost.

Types of scams covered by these refunds includes:

  • Lottery or prize draw
  • Discounted products or other financial rewards
  • Emergency scams – to help relatives and/or avoid imprisonment or arrest
  • Advance-fee loans
  • Online dating or romance scams
  • Employment opportunities

How to make a claim

  • To apply you must file a petition of remission to Western Union
  • Filing a petition is FREE
  • Apply online by filling in the Western Union remission form
  • Visit Western Union website to find out more

To be considered you must file a petition on or before 12 February 2018 


Contact details

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service

Kent County Council  22 January 2018