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Criminal Justice Joint Inspection: Evidence-led domestic abuse prosecutions

Response from: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire

While Hampshire Constabulary was not a part of this thematic inspection, we value the findings and outcomes, and any learning points on which we can implement. Domestic abuse is a priority area for both for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the force, both investing heavily in training and support services.

Domestic abuse is a complex area, and the devastating impact this can have on individuals, families and communities is extensive. We recognise that domestic abuse is often hidden and any reporting can take time and trust. We do not shy away from the challenges surrounding domestic abuse, in working with our partner agencies we strive to keep victims at the heart of all we do. Safeguarding and protecting those who need it is essential, by closely monitoring the decisions made by Hampshire Constabulary we can ensure through scrutiny that all domestic abuse cases continue to be assessed with rigor and senior officer oversight.

 

Recommendations

  • Police supervisors and Crown Prosecution Service legal managers should maximise opportunities to share examples of good work and successful outcomes with their

OPCC comment: with our connections within the Local Criminal Justice Board and Hampshire Constabulary colleagues, we will work to ensure areas of good practice are shared and made available.

 

  • The police should review training plans in order to ensure that all appropriate staff, both frontline officers and investigators, are trained how to handle domestic abuse

OPCC comment: a key role of our continued scrutiny of the force, we will work alongside training leads to ensure any and all training reviews are made where possible.

 

  • Police forces with domestic abuse champions should raise awareness of the role and seek to utilise them to maximum

OPCC comment: the force utilises the role of domestic abuse champions, the OPCC will engage with the champions lead to ensure awareness of the role is wide spread across the force and its partners.

 

  • Police forces should ensure that training, messaging and guidance is clear that evidence led cases should benefit from the same quality of investigation, early gathering of evidence and supervisory oversight as other domestic abuse cases, particularly in cases where the victim does not support police Domestic abuse champions should reinforce this message.

OPCC comment: the continued focus of protecting and supporting those who need it is at the core of the work undertaken, especially when it comes to domestic abuse cases. We at the OPCC will work with the champions lead to ensure all aspects are met where required.

 

  • Police should ensure that investigations and decisions to take no further action in domestic abuse cases receive the same robustness of supervisory oversight as other domestic abuse

OPCC comment: there is a high level of scrutiny applied to all domestic abuse cases including those where no further action is applied. Recognition that each case needs to be assessed on its individual merit and to work to meet the needs of those involved.

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