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Police provide a good service to victims of domestic abuse

Dorset Police welcomes a report issued by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) today, which assesses the way the Force deals with domestic abuse.

In September 2013 the HMIC reviewed all 43 forces in England and Wales as well as speaking to victims of domestic abuse, professionals and public protection experts.

Dorset Police was praised as one of the top eight forces for its overall response to tackling domestic abuse.

The report states that generally Dorset Police provides a good service to victims of domestic abuse and helps to keep them safe. The Force has a significant focus on this area and this is understood by officers and staff at all levels. The Force was found to have a well-developed and effective response to high risk victims, and its staff work well with partners in external agencies.

Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) David Lewis said: “We are pleased that HMIC has viewed the Force’s ongoing work positively, and that the public in Dorset can have confidence that we provide a good service to victims, although it must be stressed that we will not become complacent.

“We have just successfully implemented the introduction of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law) to Dorset which gives potential victims information about the history of their partner, so they can make an informed decision about the relationship.

“It is another way for the police, partner agencies and our specialist domestic abuse services to work together in partnership to provide support and improve outcomes for those affected by domestic abuse, and to prevent abuse occurring in the future.”

The report made recommendations for the Force to give frontline officers more training, develop a more considered approach to include taking the victim’s view. It also proposed a review of how medium and standard risk perpetrators are managed so that it can reduce re-offending and improve victim safety.

ACC David Lewis continued: “We continue to train our frontline staff in public protection issues and are continually reviewing our processes.

“Dorset Police has seen a rise in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse in recent years and I believe this is largely due to victims willing to report it to the police and take action against the perpetrator.

“We have taken a number of steps to help support victims in reporting these crimes and we work in close partnership with other support agencies. We have a dedicated team of specially trained and experienced officers and police staff to respond to and investigate domestic abuse and to provide the best possible support and protection to victims and their families.

“All of our officers and staff are committed to the safeguarding of victims and children. This remains a priority for Dorset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I would urge anyone suffering domestic abuse to come forward and report it so that action can be taken to keep them safe.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I am delighted that the HMIC inspection has identified Dorset Police as having a significant focus on the victims of domestic abuse and violence and that the Force are working effectively with partners in responding to, and supporting, high risk victims.

“Domestic abuse is a dreadful crime with far-reaching consequences and I am encouraged that an increase in reporting in recent years suggests increased confidence in the police’s ability to respond to such circumstances.

“The inspection has also highlighted some areas for improvement and I will be working with the Chief Constable and other chief officers to ensure that the policing response to domestic abuse and violence in Dorset continues to develop and improve.”

For more information on support services available throughout Dorset visit http://www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp.

Issued: 27 March 2014

ACC David Lewis