A Whole System Approach ensures that the criminal justice system puts survivors at the heart of its efforts to prevent domestic abuse and bring perpetrators to justice. Here’s how we’re engaging with the criminal justice system to bring about change.
Some forces including Northumbria and Durham designed and delivered our own coercive control training to all front line staff. All other forces in the region will be full trained as part of this project. This training will enable police officers and staff to understand the dynamics of coercive control, identify and investigate complex cases of domestic abuse and effectively assess and reduce the risk to victims of coercive and controlling behaviour, whilst taking all opportunities to protect victims by taking action against dangerous perpetrators of domestic abuse.
A Whole System Approach introduces DVSA support to enable specialist domestic abuse workers to offer safeguarding and referrals to support agencies to victims and their family's in the immediate aftermath of a domestic abuse incident. In addition to assisting victims and their families with early support, this approach assist officers in the investigation of offences, encouraging victims to engage with the police and other agencies to ensure that victims and their families are offered as much protection as possible at a time of need.
The workers are based alongside Neighbourhood Policing Teams to assist officers by offering them a better understanding of domestic abuse and upskilling them in how to better meet the needs of local victims. Workers offer safeguarding advice to officers in order to maximise the safety of domestic abuse victims and to increase victim engagement. This approach aims to provide extra support and reassurance to victims by supporting referrals so that victims have the confidence to support prosecutions against perpetrators of abuse.
The panel is made up of independent domestic abuse specialist support workers and practitioners who review incidents and case files and provide structured feedback to police forces on engagement and evidential issues, so that learning can be identified and continual improvements made.
Front line officers will have a recognised framework to assist them in identifying investigative opportunities and to facilitate an enhanced supervisory review of domestic abuse cases that supports effective investigations, particularly where there are identified issues of underlying coercive control.