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Systemic deficiencies found in handling of police-perpetrated domestic abuse

On 30 June 2022 the government published a report into the handling of Police perpetrated domestic abuse against women and girls. This report was the result of a joint review by the College of Policing, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and the Independent Office for Police Conduct following a super complaint made in March 2020 by the Centre for Women's Justice ('CWJ'). The CWJ had alleged that those forces were not responding appropriately to cases of domestic abuse involving police officer or police staff suspects.

The Senior Panel foreword to the report concluded that

'Overall, our investigation, combined with evidence submitted by CWJ, leads us to conclude forces are not fully recognising and responding to the risks and responsibilities associated with these cases. There are systemic deficiencies in the police response to cases of police perpetrated domestic abuse in England and Wales and this is causing significant harm to the public interest.'

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner responded to the report, concluding that:

'No victim or survivor of domestic abuse should feel they are prevented to report, are undermined, or have been abandoned by the very organisation who is supposed to keep them safe.  Especially not because of the position of power that their perpetrator holds.'

For the joint report, click here.

For the views expressed by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, click here.

Julia Queen, Barrister, Coram Chambers