Domestic Violence

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding she plans to allocate to police forces to train officers in recognising signs of coercive control and collecting the necessary evidence when that offence is introduced.

Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with (a) chief constables and (b) organisations dealing with violence against women on the training requirements for police officers when coercive control becomes a criminal offence; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Minister of State, Home Department

We are committed to ensuring the police and other frontline agencies have the

tools they need to respond effectively to domestic abuse. That is why on 18

December, the Home Secretary announced her intention to create a specific

offence of domestic abuse.

The offence will not come into force until frontline agencies are properly

trained to operate it effectively. An implementation plan, which will consider

funding issues, is currently being developed with the police and College of

Policing. The College is working with CAADA (Co-ordinated Action Against

Domestic Abuse) to pilot an intensive programme of training including domestic

abuse and coercive control. An evaluation will be carried out following the

pilot to ensure that the training will make a significant contribution to long

term improvements to policing of domestic abuse and will be an important factor

in driving a culture change in the police so that domestic abuse is treated as

the serious crime that it is.

The new offence of 'coercive and controlling behaviour', as well as the wider

issue of training for police officers on domestic abuse, has been discussed

at the National Oversight Group on domestic abuse, established and chaired by

the Home Secretary. The purpose of the group is to implement and monitor activity

against the recommendations coming out of HMIC’s review of domestic abuse and includes

both Chief Constable and Third Sector representation.

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