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ACPO lead gets it wrong on domestic violence

28th July 2014

Vera Baird QC, Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, has given her strong backing to Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Copper’s call for Community Resolutions not to be used for serious crimes such as domestic violence.

In data compiled by the Labour Party, from 15 forces, there were 3,305 community resolutions in domestic and sexual violence cases.

Vera Baird said: “Community Resolutions have a place for lower level crimes, not for domestic violence which is a serious crime, where two women a week are killed by their partner or an ex. ACPO needs to lead the way to ensure that NO police force uses community resolutions for domestic violence.

“For Greater Manchester Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan to state that they are specifically tuned to low–level domestic abuse is poor.

“Those who suffer from domestic abuse are not always victims of violence every time. Sometimes they are coerced and oppressed by relatively minor conduct and officers in Northumbria understand that they can be in the context of continuing abuse and do not trivialise it as this officer seems to do.

“Victims need to have confidence in the system and know that they have the full weight of the law behind them.”

The Commissioner also called on the Home Secretary to ensure no domestic violence resolutions slip through the net by banning them for serious crimes such as domestic and sexual violence.

Vera Baird added: “We can make sure that the police get this right first time every time.

“The Government must review how out of court settlements are used. Every police force has to provide the Home Secretary with a domestic violence action plan and that plan should stipulate that no force will use Community Resolutions in such cases. If each force has it in their policy and they stick to it, victims will have greater confidence in the system.”