Lessons learned from the Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns 2006

On behalf of the Home Office and ACPO, the Home Office Police and Crime Standards Directorate has published a report based on findings from two Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns (DVECs), which involved 19 police forces across England and Wales and stretched across two campaigns, one that ran in February and March, and another in June and July.

Nov 2, 2006
By Centrex Legal Evaluation Dept

On behalf of the Home Office and ACPO, the Home Office Police and Crime Standards Directorate has published a report based on findings from two Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns (DVECs), which involved 19 police forces across England and Wales and stretched across two campaigns, one that ran in February and March, and another in June and July.

The report finds that there are strong links between major football matches, alcohol consumption and domestic violence. As a result, the Government has invited football and sporting groups to join with it and 70 corporations in tackling domestic abuse as part of the UK Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence. The report makes numerous recommendations based on the findings from the DVECs. These include:

Call Handling

  • Control room and call-taking staff should receive effective training to ensure that they increase the level of detail recorded on control logs to ensure the best possible investigation.
  • Call-takers should have ready access to a suitable set of prompts to enable them to support the victim and gather evidence, but questioning should take place after deployment through agreed local procedures. This must not delay deployment of officers to the scene where the offender is still present or the victim is still at risk.
  • Where possible, call recordings should be available to investigators through an electronic system.

Evidence Gathering

  • Basic Command Units (BCUs) should consider deploying a dedicated domestic violence (DV) response vehicle when local intelligence assessments indicate a likelihood for increased DV incidents, as this results in an improvement in the standard of the investigation by providing a ‘premium service’. In real terms, a dedicated DV resource can be achieved by way of DV officers attending incidents or by having DV champions trained to the same standard attached to response teams. If DV Champions are utilised, they must have primacy for attending DV incidents.
  • Use of a dedicated crime scene investigator (CSI) in a dedicated DV response vehicle is not a cost-effective use of resources, although there remains a clear need for CSIs to continue to attend more serious incidents. Regular training of officers in scene preservation and recovery of exhibits proved successful and useful. All injuries should be photographed by a trained CSI.
  • Digital photographic equipment should be made available to patrol staff to be used in DV offences, enabling images to be produced without delay to enhance the evidence available for first interview.
  • BCUs and forces should await the completion of formal trials of body-worn digital video systems and consider the results and their evaluation when planning capital expenditure, in order to enhance evidence gathering at DV and other violent crime incidents.
  • Forces should utilise a suitable investigation pack to standardise and quality-assure the process involved in DV investigations. Investigating officers must undertake prompt and thorough investigations by obtaining all available evidence from the scene, witnesses and other sources to effectively protect the victim and any children.

Targeting of prolific offenders

  • Officers should undertake enquiries to ensure that outstanding offenders not present at crime scenes are arrested at the earliest opportunity. Cases must be subject to dynamic and robust, accountable management by front-line supervisors.
  • BCUs should utilise the National Intelligence Model (NIM) processes to monitor local trends in DV offending patterns and to monitor and robustly manage prolific DV offenders. Where bail or ASBO conditions are utilised to control the behaviour of offenders, they must be effectively monitored through positive action.

Other Issues

  • Forces should adopt and utilise the ACPO/Centrex SPECIAL CASES risk assessment model when considering the likelihood of further offendi

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