Domestic Abuse Matters: police training

Domestic Abuse Matters

Police training

The right response to domestic abuse saves lives

Domestic abuse causes significant harm and constitutes a considerable proportion of overall crime. On average the police receive an emergency call relating to domestic abuse every 30 seconds.

Women’s Aid has worked with the College of Policing and other organisations to develop, pilot and deliver a new training programme for the police force, which works to improve the response given to survivors of domestic abuse. The Domestic Abuse Matters programme works holistically to offer whole force, sustainable change.

Nottinghamshire Police are pleased to be working with Women’s Aid who are providing front line responders and investigators with DA Matters training, the training has been well-received by our front line staff.  The training will aid staff in identifying and dealing with domestic abuse including coercion and control which is a fresh element to our staff.

Rob Severn, Detective Chief Inspector for Nottinghamshire Police

In 2014 a report by HMIC found that the overall police response to victims of domestic abuse was not good enough, despite considerable improvements over the last decade. The report said: “In too many forces there are weaknesses in the service provided to victims; some of these are serious and this means that victims are put at unnecessary risk. Many forces need to take action now.”

Almost all police and crime commissioners have identified domestic abuse as a priority in their Police and Crime Plans but “this stated intent is not translating into operational reality in most forces. Tackling domestic abuse too often remains a poor relation to acquisitive crime and serious organised crime.”

As a result of this research, Women’s Aid worked with the College of Policing to create a new training programme for police forces to improve their response to domestic abuse called Domestic Abuse Matters.

The training programme can be delivered to a mixture of:

  • First response
  • PCSOs
  • Specials
  • Front counter
  • Detectives
  • Call handlers
  • Control room staff

The first day of the training is delivered using real live footage of a domestic abuse incident, case studies and reflective exercises which focus on controlling and coercive behaviour, the impact it has on the victims (including children), identification and evidencing that all relate to Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (Controlling and Coercive Behaviour).

The second day is delivered to those who have been nominated to become DA Champions.  This role is one of the sustainability mechanisms put in place to ensure continuing best practice and outcomes, as well as highlighting practice that can be changed for a more positive outcome.

At least 75% of front line staff must be trained within the year of completing the training, with the remaining 25% left to the force to carry out.  Before training commences, a force health check is carried out, which is a supportive review that supports each force to maintain the cultural shift required for long term sustainability.

Each course is fully evaluated using quantitative and qualitative data to ensure that the programme is impactful and meeting its objectives, with a six month review included in the programme.

Women’s Aid training was fantastic and has changed how I respond to domestic abuse cases. I would highly recommend to other forces.

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