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Thousands of police to be trained to spot ‘subtle’ DA

The Metropolitan Police Service (Met) in London will train 8,000 frontline officers to identify and gather evidence of coercive controlling behaviour, recognise perpetrator tactics, and understand the dynamics of domestic abuse.

“We are developing the ability of our officers to spot subtle signs, behaviour and traits of all forms of domestic abuse,” said detective superintendent Matthew Pilch, who heads the Met’s response to domestic abuse.

In Domestic Abuse Matters training, to be conducted by former officers and domestic abuse practitioners, there will be discussion of different types of behaviour, all of which amount to abuse.

Examples include the perpetrator taking control of the victim’s phone, preventing them from leaving home or forcing them to reveal their location at all times and possible isolation of victims from support and access to friends and family, sometimes resulting in victims withdrawing from the world around them.

The Met contends the training will help reassure victims that if they call for help, they will receive an empathetic response from police who will understand why all issues including housing, mental health and support for children should be addressed.

The force has adopted the Domestic Abuse Matters cultural change programme with domestic abuse charity SafeLives and £700,000 of funding by the Mayor of London.

Research has shown Domestic Abuse Matters was associated with a 41% increase in arrests for controlling and coercive behaviour in police forces which have adopted it, according to SafeLives.

Metropolitan Police commented: “Domestic abuse is one of the most complex and largest risk areas the Met deals with.”

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