Po­lice boss in call to scrap ‘abuse fee’

Macclesfield Express - - WORLD BOOK DAY - STU­ART GREER

CHESHIRE’S po­lice boss has joined a cam­paign to scrap the fee charged to do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims seek­ing le­gal aid.

Due to re­cent leg­is­la­tion changes, do­mes­tic abuse vic­tims now have to ap­ply for le­gal aid.

But to qual­ify for sup­port, they need to pro­vide spe­cific ev­i­dence to prove that they have been sub­jected to such abuse. One of the ac­cepted forms of ev­i­dence is a let­ter from a GP – which some charge for. Now 16 Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sion­ers, in­clud­ing Cheshire’s David Keane, have added their names to a let­ter to Health Min­is­ter Jeremy Hunt and Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Liz Truss call­ing for the fee to be scrapped.

PCC Keane said: “It is es­sen­tial that vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse are given the con­fi­dence to re­port the abuse they are suf­fer­ing and are able to ac­cess the sup­port and help they need to not only cope and re­cover, but also get jus­tice.

“There should be no un­nec­es­sary bar­ri­ers for vic­tims to over­come. There­fore, I join my col­leagues across the coun­try in mak­ing the call to scrap the fee.”

The ‘scrap the fee’ cam­paign was launched by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson.

Cheshire Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner David Keane

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