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Cops criticised for action in domestic abuse cases

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 29, 2014

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A NEW report by the body that oversees policing has revealed that the response to reports of domestic abuse in Uttoxeter and the surrounding area ‘is not good enough and must be improved’.

The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) investigation found ‘alarming and unacceptable weaknesses in some core policing activity’ and has now urged forces to rectify these problems as a matter of urgency.

A set of recommendations have been drawn up in a bid to get issues under control.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham said: “It is the view of HMIC that the service provided to victims of domestic abuse by the police is too often unacceptable.

“Police leaders told us that tackling domestic abuse is important, but in the majority of forces it is a priority on paper only and not in practice.

“It is deeply disappointing that the stated intent is not translating into an operational reality.”

Staffordshire Police’s assistant chief constable, Nick Baker, said: “As this independent inspection report highlights, domestic abuse is an operational priority for Staffordshire Police and one which we take extremely seriously.

“Our first concern is to support and protect victims, particularly those who are vulnerable or where children are involved.

“We work very closely with local partners in Staffordshire as part of a multi-agency safeguarding hub to do this.

“We recognise we can improve and welcome the report’s recommendations.”

Derbyshire Police’s Detective Superintendent Andrew Stokes, head of public protection, said his force had been working on improving responses to domestic violence cases.

He said: “Over the past year the force has introduced a number of processes to improve the level of service given to victims and potential victims of domestic abuse.

“There is a recognition our response to domestic violence is still not good enough.

“There has been considerable progress over recent years but this report has provided a timely reminder that things still need to improve.”

After the HMIC report was published, Home Secretary Theresa May said she would lead a new committee to look at the issue.

She has called for a ‘radical change’ in how officers deal with domestic abuse cases.

The report found that half of the 600 domestic assault files investigated did not include simple evidence like pictures of the victims’ injuries.

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