Swindon police are backing a scheme to use polygraph testing on domestic abuse cases. New laws dating back from 2020, will see domestic abusers face lie detector tests on release from prison. The original proposal became delayed due to the elections taking place. Plans for the new law remain broadly the same as before. The plan includes forcing domestic abusers to take polygraph tests.
What does the new law mean?
The programme involves 300 offenders taking lie detector tests. Offenders will agree to a test taken three months after they release. Tests will then be taken every six months. If offenders fail the test, they will not be sent to prison unless the results show they have broken their release terms.
The reason behind the new law
The government have provided new polygraph equipment and training for testing of Sex Offenders. The programme has been of benefit to their forces nationwide, with Swindon police aiming to be part of it.
Among other plans, the law bans offenders from cross-examining their victims during court proceedings. It could also make councils find safe accommodation for victims and their children. A move which charity Women’s Aid have called “life saving”.
However, charity Crisis said that the new law still doesn’t ensure the safe relocating of victims and their families. Instead it could mean victims spending years in temporary housing, with their lives on hold.
The bill will accept the use of technology to target a victim as illegal. Financial control will also be judged under the new law as a new form of domestic abuse. Charities such as Barnardo’s are in discussion with the Government to make sure children are protected under the new laws. Swindon police say they are keen to be part of the pilot scheme.
See what the BBC had to say on the matter in their article on “Lie detector tests planned for offenders”