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Police response to victims of domestic abuse continues to improve

Improvements found in how the police identify, respond to and support victims

The fourth report of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services on the police response to domestic abuse – The police response to domestic abuse: An update report – found continued improvement in how the police identify, respond to and support victims of domestic abuse.

The report recognises the good work being carried out by the majority of police forces including:

These improvements are all the more impressive, given the increases seen in recorded levels of domestic abuse. It is important to acknowledge the pressure that the significant increases in demand is placing on forces.

Data collected during the 2017 PEEL inspection show that recorded levels of domestic abuse rose by almost 90 percent since HMICFRS's first inspection in 2014.

This is likely to represent improved recording of crimes and increased confidence in the police with more victims coming forward. But some police forces are unable to explain the reasons for the rise.

The report outlines a number concerns around the use of bail. The number of people being released on all types of bail for domestic abuse crimes has fallen by 65 percent. Additionally, 16 forces were unable to supply comparable year-on-year data on their use of bail for domestic abuse cases. This suggests that they may not be monitoring the use of bail. HMICFRS is undertaking further work to understand how bail is being used in domestic abuse crimes.

For the report, click here.