Theresa May will directly oversee the creation of new laws to deal with domestic abuse in England and Wales, the government has said. Downing Street said current legislation lacked clarity and it was “unacceptable” that some areas worked harder to tackle abuse than others. A new act would aim to address this inconsistency and make the law work better for victims. Mrs May said she attached a “personal importance” to the problem. “Domestic violence and abuse is a life shattering and absolutely abhorrent crime,” she said. “There are thousands of people who are suffering at the hands of abusers – often isolated, and unaware of the options and support available to them to end it.” It is unclear what shape the Domestic Violence and Abuse Act might take, but the government is consulting with experts who work with victims of abuse. Their ideas and suggestions will help shape the new law. Diana Barran, chief executive of the anti-abuse charity SafeLives, welcomed the move, saying she would like to see legislation simplified and consolidated. She said the police’s inconsistent response was partly down to “cultural blocks”. Officers did not always take reports seriously, and had to deal with a large number of cases.