Major investigation and public protection

Authorised professional practice on domestic abuse


This authorised professional practice (APP) on domestic abuse has been developed through the consolidation and updating of pre-existing ACPO (2008) Guidance on Investigating Domestic Abuse, and professional expertise of police and voluntary sector practitioners. The section on risk assessment and risk factors draws on findings from systematic reviews of research evidence. Where the guidance draws on any empirical evidence it is explicitly referenced in the text.

The APP responds to a number of developments in the field of domestic abuse, in particular a new Home Office definition of domestic violence and abuse. The definition recognises the significance of controlling or coercive behaviour in better understanding domestic abuse. During the development of this APP, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) also released its findings from a major inspection of how all police forces in England and Wales handle allegations of domestic abuse.

Page last accessed 20 January 2022