Domestic abuse will be treated as seriously as knife crime under Priti Patel's new measures

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Priti Patel said 'sickening' acts of violence will be treated equally to knife crimeGovernment said treating these crimes as seriously will prevent future tragedyThe reforms come after a campaign ran by Conservative peer Baroness Bertin 

Domestic abuse and sexual offences will be treated as seriously as knife crime under new measures to be announced by Priti Patel today.

The Home Secretary said it will mean ‘sickening’ acts of violence will be treated equally seriously.

A range of agencies which are currently expected to work together to tackle knife offending will have to take similar steps to combat domestic abuse and sex crimes.

A government spokesman said adding the crimes to the so-called ‘Serious Violence Duty’ would help ‘prevent future crime and tragedy’.

Domestic abuse and sexual offences will be treated as seriously as knife crime under new measures to be announced by Priti Patel today. Pictured, stock image

Domestic abuse and sexual offences will be treated as seriously as knife crime under new measures to be announced by Priti Patel today. Pictured, stock image

Miss Patel said: ‘Any instance of violence towards another human being is sickening and it is incumbent upon all in authority to try to prevent it from occurring.

‘There are numerous public sector bodies and agencies with a responsibility to protect young and vulnerable people from harm – and they must get better at working together to deliver for them.’

The changes will cover police, government, health and education bodies, requiring them to share information about sex crimes and domestic abuse in a bid to protect people from further harm.

The reforms come after a campaign by Conservative peer Baroness Bertin.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said ‘sickening’ acts of violence - domestic abuse and sexual offences - will be treated as seriously as knife crime

Home Secretary Priti Patel said ‘sickening’ acts of violence – domestic abuse and sexual offences – will be treated as seriously as knife crime

The Home Secretary said: ‘Following tireless work on this important issue by Baroness Bertin, I am bringing forward changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make sure that domestic abuse and sexual offences – which do untold and often long-term damage to victims – can be included in local strategies for tackling serious violence.’

Domestic abuse commissioner Nicole Jacobs said the move ‘sends a very clear message to victims and survivors that tackling and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence are top priorities and not optional extras’.

She added: ‘This amendment will ensure there is an early intervention, public health focused approach to tackling serious violent crime.’

It comes as the head of the Crown Prosecution Service said powers to exclude members of the public from courtrooms during rape trials should be used more frequently.

Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said it would help bring stronger prosecution cases, because victims would not suffer intimidation from the public gallery.

The number of rapes reported to police in England and Wales soared 10 per cent to more than 61,000 in the 12 months to June. But just 1.4 per cent of reported rapes led to a suspect being charged or summonsed. 

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