PCC agrees to fund a radical Domestic Abuse training package

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has just agreed to fund a radical training package for officers and staff called Domestic Abuse Matters. The training comes in the wake of a far-reaching, independent research commissioned by the PCC last year which took an unprecedented look at how victims of domestic abuse considered they are supported in the county.

The Constabulary has made a good deal of progress with the recommendations including working with statutory and voluntary partners to improve services for victims of domestic abuse. A key recommendation was improving training for officers and Suffolk Constabulary is about to embark on the training package for police officers and staff to enhance skills and knowledge to provide a better service to victims of domestic abuse. The training, which will paid for by a £60K grant from the PCC, will be delivered to 749 officers and staff, which includes control room staff, safer neighbourhood teams, police community support officers (PCSOs) and response officers. This training is supplemented by additional training for supervisors to ensure a consistent culture change to improve professional practice.

Tim Passmore said, “Since being elected as Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, I have placed great emphasis on the need to keep victims at the heart of our services. This is especially relevant to dealing with domestic abuse; it is an integral part of my Police and Crime Plan and one of my top priorities.

“One thing that became clear to me very quickly when engaging with victims is that we need to look for ways to understand and deal with domestic abuse better to ensure we fully support victims of this terrible crime. Ensuring that everyone is trained to deal with the domestic abuse victims is crucially important. This training will provide a real step-change in the organisation and I am convinced will be money well spent.

He added, “When I commissioned the UCS research, I realised that the findings would be a sobering lesson to us all. We pledged to work with partners across the public and voluntary sector to formulate an action plan so that we can greatly reduce this terrible crime as a matter of urgency. I am pleased to see that one year on we are making some tangible difference to the way victims are supported.”

Detective Inspector, Jim Gooding said; “An HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) report stated that ‘victims of domestic abuse in Suffolk can have confidence in the service they receive from police’, however it made a number of recommendations including that the force should review how it assesses risk and the training currently provided.

“This training is designed to provide a skills and knowledge upgrade to first responders to domestic abuse. It is acknowledged that officers and staff want to and can make a difference to the lives of those who are victims of domestic abuse and crime and this programme will further the understanding of coercive control, risk identification and safeguarding. A different style of training is involved, which focuses on understanding behaviour rather than the legal framework, and the training should enable us to enhance the service we provide to victims of domestic abuse.”