The end of 2023, 29th December to be exact saw the eight-year anniversary of the criminalisation of coercive control.
The landmark legislation which established coercive and controlling behaviour (CCB)as a criminal offence in the Serious Crime Act 2015 of England and Wales.
Section 76 Serious Crime Act 2015 created the offence of CCB in an intimate or family relationship, with the crime able to be tried summarily or on indictment and currently carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
Guidance published at the time emphasised the importance of identifying this crime at the earliest opportunity and taking action, even when other crimes are being investigated.
There is guidance to help support how to approach the selection of charges when dealing with conduct which overlaps CCB, harassment and stalking.
putting before the court all relevant evidence, including revisiting previous allegations not proceeded with, if necessary
the importance of charging individual incidents in addition to CCB, especially where they attract a maximum penalty of, or more than, 5 years’ imprisonment, and
the relevance of a case strategy which considers acceptable pleas and how the case is to be put (and reflected in the charge or indictment) from the outset.
Read the full article below.