Police would have 24 hours to decide whether to pursue court orders designed to immediately protect victims after domestic violence incidents under Labour proposals aimed at ensuring swifter safeguarding.

The party said it would impose “strict” time limits on forces to weigh up whether to use the measures quickly after offences are reported.

A new system joining up police and court databases would also be rolled out to allow officers to live-track whether a person has been made subject to an order rather than waiting to be informed, Labour has said.


The plans are designed to prevent cases like that of Raneem Oudeh, 22, who was killed alongside her mother, 49-year-old Khaola Saleem, by her ex-partner 11 days after obtaining a non-molestation order against him.

Labour says measures such as domestic violence protection orders are “chronically underused despite having the potential to save lives”.

The party says its plans would ensure forces have to account for why protective tools have not been deployed in relevant cases as there is currently no statutory duty on officers to formally consider whether such orders would be appropriate.

It is the latest in a series of announcements about the party’s promise to introduce “Raneem’s Law”, which is aimed at transforming the way the police handle cases of violence against women and girls.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she is “sick and tired of women and girls facing the same threats of violence and abuse, generation after generation”.

Labour is warning that Britain has become “desensitised” to stories about dead women following a spate of high-profile murders in recent years, including those of Sarah Everard, Zara Aleena, Sabina Nessa, Ms Oudeh and Ms Saleem.

Sunday with Laura KuenssbergShadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said governments have been treating violence against women and girls as an ‘inevitability’ (Maja Smiejkowska/PA)

Ms Cooper said: “For too long, governments have treated violence against women and girls as an inevitability instead of the emergency that it is.

“Week after week we see stories of women being killed, appalling failings by organisations charged with keeping them safe, and weak assurances that ‘lessons will be learned’ – yet nothing is changing, and families across the country are being utterly devastated as a result.

“After Sarah Everard was killed, women across the country demanded action, but too little has changed.

“After Raneem Oudeh was killed, we expected major overhauls in policing and the criminal justice system, but barely anything was done. The passive response from the Government to these terrible crimes is just hopeless.”

She said there are “continued failings” across police and the criminal justice system which must be fixed.

She said a Labour government would overhaul “every aspect of society’s response to these heinous crimes” and ask police to “strain every sinew and use every tool in their arsenal to pursue dangerous perpetrators who pose a risk to women and to keep victims safe from harm”.

Other pledges previously announced by the party include the introduction of specialist rape and sexual assault units in every force, domestic violence call handlers in every 999 control room and a new “perpetrator programme” to target the 1,000 most dangerous abusers and sex offenders who pose a risk to women.

A Conservative spokesman said: “No woman or girl should ever feel unsafe at home or in public, and whilst we have reduced violent crime by 51%, we have a plan to do more to end this abuse.

“We are implementing our Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, toughening up sentences for offenders, requiring Chief Constables to deal with VAWG as a national threat and launching support in the community for victims.

“We have 20,000 more police officers on the street and we have cut crime by 55%, and we are sticking with the plan to drive down crime further to ensure our streets and communities are a safer place to live and raise a family.

“The reality is where Labour are in power, you are 40% more likely to be a victim of crime, because they are soft on crime and don’t have a plan to tackle it.”