SafeLives calls on Government to fund culture change programme for police and CPS

UK domestic abuse charity, SafeLives, welcomes the HMCPSI and HMICFRS report on evidence led domestic abuse cases, but urgently calls on the Government to fund face to face cultural change domestic abuse training for the police and CPS prosecutors.

Today, the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published a joint report on evidence led domestic abuse cases.

The report finds that while there is a clear recognition that domestic abuse is a priority area of work, the handling of evidence led domestic abuse prosecutions requires improvement. Many police officers on the ground are doing their best to support victims, but in a system where time and resources are extremely limited, they need the right tools and training to ensure this.

We welcome the report’s recommendation to review domestic abuse training plans but we believe this doesn’t go far enough. The report found that even when domestic abuse training was available, uptake was variable, and in some cases even mandatory e-learning had not been completed by prosecutors. This shows the current system is failing, and a culture shift within the police and CPS is needed.

We urge the Government to invest in face to face culture change training programmes, such as DA Matters, for all police and CPS prosecutors. When two million adults in the UK experience domestic abuse each year, only a culture change programme which will ensure long term, sustainable improvements and consistency in the response to domestic abuse across the country.

Ensuring the police and CPS prosecutors understand coercive and controlling behaviour and the dynamics of domestic abuse is vital if they are to truly protect victims and children and hold perpetrators to account, and it is time for the Government to prioritise funding for the training required to achieve this.

Read the report