Overall, police forces across England and Wales are better at dealing with domestic abuse (DA) than five years ago, a report by the Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services has found. But there are areas for improvement.
Among positives highlighted by inspector Zoë Billingham was forces still make responding to domestic abuse a priority, An inspectorate survey among DA practitioners found 63% felt the police approach to problem has improved since its first report in 2014.
The report’s findings included:
• control room response to calls about domestic abuse improving;
• quality of initial and specialist investigations generally getting better;
• an increase in the number of victims not supporting police action;
• concern police are sometimes too slow in getting to DA incidents;
• the need for police to improve their understanding of coercive and controlling behaviour;
• a reduction in use of police bail may be negatively affecting DA victims;
• variation between forces in the level of working with other organisations; and
• the need for police to seek more feedback from victims.
Recorded levels of domestic abuse in the 12 months to 30 June 2017 increased 88% compared with the year to 31 August 2013 when the inspectorate’s first report was being prepared.