Police 'failing' domestic violence victims

Devon and Cornwall Police needs to improve its handling of domestic abuse case after inspectors found “significant risks” in its response.

Devon and Cornwall Police welcomes HMIC report

I know there is much good work taking place within Devon and Cornwall in the field of domestic abuse, however, the report has highlighted inconsistencies which we need to address.

It is essential that victims are at the forefront of everything we do and that any victim of domestic abuse feels they are able to seek support from the police and our partner agencies.

We recognise there are too many inconsistencies in the service which the report identifies. Some of these we had already identified and are addressing.

Domestic abuse is a force priority, as it is for the Police and Crime Commissioner, and we are determined to drive up the quality of service given to victims, while we will seek to standardise good practices across the peninsula.

– Assistant Chief Constable Andy Bickley, Devon & Somerset Police

"Significant risks" in way Devon & Cornwall tackles domestic abuse

There are some significant risks in the way Devon and Cornwall Police tackles domestic abuse and improvements are needed according to HM HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

In a national inspection of how police forces respond to cases of domestic violence, inspectors found that, while it is a clear priority, the force does not yet provide a consistent service in all cases of domestic abuse.

  • In Devon and Cornwall, domestic abuse accounts for 3% of calls to the police for assistance
  • Of these calls, 46% were from repeat victims and domestic abuse accounts for 11% of all recorded crime
  • The force also recorded 10,158 assaults with injury, of these 3,411 were domestic abuse related
  • This is 34% of all assaults with injury recorded for the 12 months to end of August 2013.
  • Devon and Cornwall has a low arrest rate - for every 100 domestic abuse crimes recorded, there were 51 arrests in Devon and Cornwall. For most forces the number is between 45 and 90.

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