*Executive Summary *
Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for the police and crime commissioner (PCC) and the chief constable. Officers and staff understand the importance of their role in safeguarding victims of abuse and are particularly aware of the need to ensure that any children belonging to the family are safeguarded.
Although Northamptonshire Police’s response to tackling domestic abuse is effective in some respects, and there are pockets of good practice, there are some important areas where improvement is needed in order to reduce the risk to victims. The force has the lowest arrest rate for domestic abuse related crimes in the country, which is a concern.
High risk (of serious harm or murder) victims are well served by the police and their partners. Domestic abuse forums now provide an opportunity for early intervention in medium risk cases, to put in place measures, with partners, to prevent escalation in risk.
However, leadership and supervision needs to improve for the force to be completely confident that they are providing a good service to all victims. There is also a fragmented approach to dealing with crimes which are assessed as medium or ‘low’ risk whereby they may be dealt with by a number of people, and either not updated by anyone, or updated by a number of people.
The force works well with partner agencies and has a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) which is well regarded and shares information promptly; particularly about children involved in domestic abuse.
This report outlines a number of areas where the force could further strengthen its response.
Read the full report here: http://www.hmic.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/northamptonshire-approach-to-tackling-domestic-abuse.pdf