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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:

Obviously the uplift programme, as it is called across policing, is welcomed, and 20,000 officers will address some or most of the reductions in police officers since 2010. There has been a reduction in police staff and police community support officers during that period as well. The crux of that, in terms of how the police respond to domestic abuse, will be where those officers are deployed.

Of course, a whole lot of work will be done to ensure that frontline preventive policing is enhanced through the uplift programme. Although that is not a specific investment in specialist domestic abuse officers, in our view prevention is much better than cure. Clearly, however, forces will need to look at their uplift—what they are going to receive in terms of additional officers—and see whether the stretch in the system that we have identified can be alleviated by effective and smart deployment in a whole range of roles across police forces. That is really a matter for forces.