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Examination of Witness

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Zoe Billingham:

It is really interesting; policing has a habit of working like the swing of a pendulum. A force may be at variance in, for example, its rate of arrest, and we will put in our report—our local report—a recommendation that that should be reviewed and looked at. When we come back, we are listened to and we will follow that through, and we find that that may have changed. However, the danger is that, in addressing and focusing responses on one particular area that we have identified in our report, the eye is taken off the ball elsewhere. Although the force may correct one part of the whole-system approach, there may be something that then surprises us and surprises them.

For example, the force may be arresting more but may actually then be disposing of more cases, on the basis that the victim does not support police action. Now, that may be an appropriate thing to do, but we are concerned that too often that resolution is being used because hard-pressed officers simply have not got the time to take the correct action to pursue the criminal justice route and outcome.