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Family Courts: Domestic Abuse

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 27240, tabled on 19 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the safety of the family court estate for victims of domestic abuse during cases involving child contact.

Answered on

24 February 2016

HMCTS takes the issue of security within its courts extremely seriously and has in place a robust security and safety system to protect all court users, and the judiciary, in every family court. Risk assessments are carried out regularly by court managers and assured by security and safety professionals to ensure adequate protection measures are in place. These measures include inter-agency agreements to ensure the safety and security of victims and witnesses when attending court, such as support and escorts into the building and - where possible - alternative entry and exit routes and separate waiting rooms.

There are also court security officers in place who have legislative powers to protect all those in the court building. Security measures include mandatory bag searches, the use of modern security searching equipment and surveillance cameras, and panic alarms in hearing rooms. Our security standards are continually reviewed to ensure they are effective, proportionate and effectively mitigate against the risks posed to court users, including victims of domestic abuse.

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