Non-fatal strangulation: 49 arrests during law’s first month in Northern Ireland


Forty-nine people have been arrested for reports of non-fatal strangulation offences since a new law came into effect in Northern Ireland last month.

Non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation (under The Justice Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims Act NI 2022) was made a specific criminal offence in Northern Ireland last month, punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

Of the 49 arrests, 26 alleged perpetrators have been charged, the PSNI have said.

Strangulation is the second most common method of female murder in the UK, after a knife or sharp instrument.

Non-fatal strangulation is seen as a red flag for escalating violence in intimate partner relationships and a possible indicator for future risk of murder or attempted murder.

Det Supt Lindsay Fisher of the PSNI’s public protection branch said: ““The successes so far have proven the need for this important piece of legislation. We will be continuing to work with partners to raise awareness of this crime type and encourage more victims to come forward.

“Over 1,850 frontline officers and staff have now already been trained to recognise and respond and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to bring potential offenders to justice. We are acting on reports made to us and supporting potential victims who are being brave enough to pick up the phone.”

• More information on non-fatal strangulation –