Met Police revises domestic violence complaint policies

18:12 26 November 2012

File picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

File picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police officers called to scenes of domestic violence must make an arrest or give detailed reasons if nobody is detained.

The Metropolitan Police has revised its policy in a bid to improve the way victims are treated after making a complaint.

It comes in the wake of stinging criticism by one women’s group of the way some officers behaved when approached by people abused by their partners.

Julia Dwyer, from Refuge, said some of her users complained of inconsistency in the way they were treated.

Speaking to the London Assembly’s police and crime committee earlier this month, she said: “The client will say to us they ask us these series of risk questions but then they haven’t done anything about it. Women aren’t being given information about services.

“We have had women being told that they should find a hotel if they haven’t got a place to stay in.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a central team provides “strategic and operational” advice to officers based in the 32 London boroughs.

“The purposes of having a central team where strategy and policy are reviewed and defined is to ensure that there is a uniform approach to dealing with domestic violence,” he said.

“They are a focal point for any difficulties officers may encounter regarding domestic violence and if a borough raises concerns around a specific area, the central team will investigate and then co-ordinate responses to all boroughs so that a uniform approach is adopted.”

An arrest of an alleged abuser also gives the complainant time to find alternative accommodation and to make sure that officers share information about his or her offending history.

The spokesman added: “The matter is passed to teams of specialist investigators to conduct an in depth and tailored response to each incident

“This involves a five year history check of all reports involving the complainant or suspect (and) a further risk assessment.”

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