Police officers are to get advice on recognising the tell-tale signs and patterns of domestic abuse.
A report revealed that some domestic abuse victims feel intimidated and unsupported by officer’s attitudes, so new guidelines for police have been created.
The Authorised Professional Practice (APP) guidelines have been issue by the College of Policing and encourage police to rely on evidence rather than a testimony from a domestic abuse victim to build a case.
Call handlers and counter staff in police stations are also to be provided with checklists for when they are contacted regarding domestic abuse.
Officers who are first to the scene will have a ‘toolkit’ from which to ensure that a domestic abuse case is handled correctly and appropriately.
Domestic abuse charities have welcomed the new measures.
On average two women in England and Wales die every week at the hands of a current or former partner.
Women’s Aid has described move as a ‘matter of life or death’, and SafeLives say the guidelines are a ‘huge step forward in helping police to understand the complex nature of domestic abuse’.
The lead officer at the College of Policing, David Tucker, says, “Sometimes police cannot understand why a victim would stay in an abusive relationship.”
He goes on to comment that the onus should not be on the victim to bring justice or stop the abuse, it is the responsibility of the perpetrator of the domestic abuse to stop and the responsibility of the police to bring perpetrators to justice.