Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire have both secured successful prosecutions in the 12 months since non-fatal strangulation became a specific offence in England and Wales.
One year on from non-fatal strangulation becoming a specific offence and forces are using this new avenue to pursue more perpetrators who previously could’ve avoided punishment.
This new offence was introduced in June 2022 following concerns that it was harder to prosecute offenders for existing offences because this act can often leave no visible injury.
Those convicted can now face up to five years’ imprisonment.
Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Police are just two of the forces that have secured successful prosecutions inthe 12 months since having this new offence at their disposal.
Detective Inspector Dan Evans, Nottinghamshire’s domestic abuse lead, said: “We recognised straight away that this new law was a valuable tool with which to help victims and worked hard to ensure our front-line officers understood it and used their powers effectively.”
This is reflected in the fact that, in those first 12 months, the force arrested 1,110 people on suspicion of the offence and charged 208 suspects.
Notable outcomes include a man being jailed for 21 months for grabbing a woman by the throat, with anotherjailed for 18 months for a similar offence.
DI Evans added: “Even in cases where we don’t have sufficient evidence to bring a charge, the act of arresting and interviewing a suspect on suspicion of this offence gives us plenty of additional options to help protect victims from harm.”
A total of 610 non-fatal strangulation offences were reported to Leicestershire Police during the same period; 467of those reports were finalised with 228 suspects arrested.
Charges have been brought in connection with 57 offences; a further 13 have been dealt with by way of Out ofCourt Disposal.
Detective Superintendent Chris Baker said: “Tackling abuse such as this and providing support to those who suffer at the hands of their partners and ex-partners is a top priority for the force. The new offence recognises a particularly horrific act.”
In terms of successful prosecutions, he referenced one man who – alongside a 10-year restraining order – hasbeen handed a 22-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.