Report on Use and Abuse of Non-Molestation Orders

FNF have published an analytical report on the increasing use of Non-Molestation Orders (NMOs) which have gone up by 37% since 2013/14 with a clear spike when Legal Aid was scrapped, other than in cases involving allegations of domestic violence. A further spike started last year after restrictions were placed on police bail. Determined FNF volunteer, Richard Nixon, has obtained regional and individual court data on NMOs issued through Freedom of Information requests that form the backbone of our report which you can download here. It is encouraging that The President of the Family Division, Lord Justice McFarlane and the Ministry of Justice have shown an interest in our report.

Our concerns are that Non-Molestation Orders, often obtained through witness statements alone, can lead to people unnecessarily getting a criminal record while their ex-partners obtain Legal Aid to support their allegations. Meanwhile the targets of these NMOs are left having to prove their innocence without any legal support. Most importantly, when based on false allegations, these NMOs greatly disrupt the process of restoring contact with good parents (almost always dads).

The Guardian covered the story too (see here). Also, our Press Release is available here.