Domestic abuse index

Introduction to authorised professional practice on domestic abuse

Context and dynamics of domestic abuse

1 Domestic abuse definitions

1.1 Controlling or coercive behaviour

1.2 Victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse

2 Offences associated with domestic abuse

3 Why do victims continue abusive relationships?

Understanding risk and vulnerability in the context of domestic abuse

1 Risk identification and assessment

1.1 Approaches to risk assessment

1.2 Primary risk assessment

1.3 Secondary risk assessment

2 Risk factors and vulnerabilities associated with domestic abuse

3 Particular issues affecting certain groups of victims

3.1 Victims from different cultural backgrounds

3.1.1 Victims with insecure immigration status

3.2 Male victims

3.3 Victims from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities

3.4 Victims with a disability

3.5 Victims from armed services families and emergency service/public service personnel

3.6 Teenagers and young persons

4 Familial abuse

4.1 Abuse of older people

4.2 Child to parent abuse

4.3 Sibling abuse

4.4 Checklist: Dealing with suspected familial abuse

Identification, reporting and associated investigations

1 Identification and reporting

1.1 Receiving the report

1.2 Referrals from other agencies

1.3 Identifying information and intelligence about domestic abuse

2 Potential associated investigations

2.1 Child abuse investigations

2.2 Honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation

2.3 Vulnerable adult abuse investigation

2.4 Stalking and harassment

2.5 Homicide

2.6 Suicide

2.7 Causing or allowing a child or vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical harm

2.8 Family annihilation

2.9 Missing persons investigations

2.9.1 Missing person who is an alleged domestic abuse victim

2.9.2 Missing person who is an alleged domestic abuse perpetrator

2.10 Prostitution

2.11 Sexual offences

2.12 Managing sexual offenders and violent offenders

2.13 Incidents that are not overtly domestic abuse

Call handler and front counter staff response to a domestic abuse incident

1 Introduction

1.1 The importance of history and context

2 Safety issues

2.1 Call handlers

2.1.1 If the suspect is still present at the scene

2.1.2 If the suspect has left the scene

2.1.3 If the caller is a child

2.2 Front counter staff

2.2.1 Checklist: Key considerations for front counter staff taking a report of domestic abuse

3 Confirmation of information

3.1 Checklist: Information gathering

4 Preservation of evidence

5 Deployment

5.1 Checklist: Deployment

5.2 Checklist: Details to be provided to the attending officer

Call handler quick reference guide

First response

1 Ensure immediate safety

1.1 En route to scene

1.2 Actions on arrival at the scene

1.2.1 Body-worn video

1.2.2 Checklist: Actions on arrival at the scene

1.3 Powers of entry

1.3.1 Checklist: Police powers of entry

1.3.2 When access to property is denied

1.4 Medical treatment and forensic medical examination

1.5 Duties in relation to safeguarding

1.5.1 Children

1.5.2 Vulnerable adults

2 Build rapport

2.1 Why a victim might appear unwilling to engage

3 Carry out an initial investigation

3.1 Scene protection

3.1.1 Checklist: Protecting the scene

3.2 Initial enquiries with victims and witnesses

3.2.1 Checklist: Gaining a first account from a victim or witness

3.2.2 First accounts and body-worn video

3.2.3 Victim’s views on obtaining a restraining order and victim personal statement

3.3 Injury photos

3.4 Using interpreters at the scene

3.5 Determining the primary perpetrator and dealing with counter-allegations

3.6 First responder as a witness

3.6.1 Checklist: Statement of the first officer at the scene

4 Identify risk

5 Initiate support and protection for victims

5.1 Referrals to voluntary sector support agencies

5.2 Emergency accommodation

6 Ensure a good handover

First response quick reference guide

First response National Decision Model (NDM) tool

First response supervisor’s checklist

Arrest and other positive approaches

1 Positive action

2 Arrest

2.1 Arrest

2.2 Arresting the right person

2.3 Dual arrests

2.4 Use of bail conditions

3 Other forms of positive action

3.1 Removal to prevent breach of the peace

3.2 Domestic violence protection notices and domestic violence protection orders

3.3 Civil orders

3.4 Violent offender order

4 Alternatives to prosecution

4.1 Cautions

4.2 Restorative justice and community resolution

4.3 Penalty notice for disorder

Domestic violence protection notices and domestic violence protection orders

1 Introduction

2 Domestic violence protection notices

2.1 When is a DVPN available?

2.2 The decision to issue a DVPN

2.3 Terms of the DVPN

2.4 Content of the DVPN

2.5 Issuing the DVPN and notice of the hearing of the DVPO

2.6 After the DVPN has been issued

3 Domestic violence protection orders

3.1 Making the application

3.1.1 Checklist: DVPO application

3.2 The court decision

3.3 After the DVPO hearing

3.3.1 Keep the victim informed

3.3.2 Manage risk

3.3.3 Be proactive with breaches

Investigative development

1 Building an evidence-led case

1.1 Prosecution based on hearsay evidence

1.2 Prosecution based on a hostile victim

1.3 Prosecution based on circumstantial evidence

2 Managing the investigation

3 Lines of enquiry

3.1 Checklist: Lines of enquiry

4 Physical evidence

4.1 Forensic science

4.2 Photographic and visually-recorded evidence

4.2.1 Photographic evidence – victim care issues

4.2.2 Checklist: Use of photographic evidence

4.3 Using 999 recordings

4.4 Res gestae

5 Victim and witness evidence

5.1 Victim interviews

5.1.1 Checklist: Conducting the victim interview

6 Sources of intelligence and evidence

6.1 Police National Computer

6.2 Police National Database

6.3 ViSOR

6.4 ASSIST

6.5 Foreign intelligence checks

6.6 House-to-house enquiries

6.7 Automatic number plate recognition

6.8 Technology and social media

6.9 Financial information

6.10 Covert surveillance

6.11 Covert human intelligence sources

6.12 Prison intelligence

7 Bad character evidence

8 Seeking evidence from other agencies

8.1 Past medical records

8.2 Closed-circuit television

8.3 Contextual information from other agencies

The role of domestic abuse specialists in supporting investigation and incident management

1 Specialist roles

2 Investigation

2.1 Role of the domestic abuse specialist officer in investigation development

2.2 Checklist: Role of the specialist domestic abuse officer

2.3 Role of the domestic abuse specialist supervisor in supporting investigation development

2.4 Role of child abuse investigation units in domestic abuse investigation

3 Providing tactical advice in domestic abuse sieges and hostage-taking incidents

4 Monitoring cases

Post arrest management of suspect and casefile

1 Custody plan

1.1 Checklist: Custody plan

1.2 Including information relating to the suspect in the risk assessment process

2 Suspect interviewing

2.1 Sensitive information about the victim

2.2 Legal advisers and pre-interview briefings

2.3 Using photographic evidence during interviews

2.4 Using interpreters during interviews

2.4.1 Checklist: Considerations when using interpreters in domestic abuse cases

2.5 Suspect interviews

2.5.1 Spotlight on controlling or coercive behaviour

3 Charging

3.1 Charging

3.2 Charging standards

3.3 Preparing information for the Crown Prosecution Service

3.3.1 Checklist: File preparation

3.3.2 Checklist: Evidence-led prosecution

4 Making bail decisions

4.1 Risk

4.2 Bail – pre and post – charge

4.3 Checklist: Pre-release considerations

4.4 Remand in custody

5 Post-release

5.1 Assisting with the recovery of property

5.1.1 Suspect requests for property recovery

5.1.2 Victim property recovery

5.2 Proactive policing of breaches

5.2.1 Breach of pre-charge bail conditions

5.2.2 Breach of post-charge bail conditions

5.3 Applications to vary bail

Victim safety and support

1 Introduction

2 Communication with the victim

2.1 Keeping the victim informed

2.1.1 Bail and breaches of bail

2.1.2 Discontinuance

2.2 Victim personal statement

2.3 Victim’s views on a restraining order

2.4 Special measures

2.5 Withdrawal

2.5.1 Checklist: Taking comprehensive withdrawal statements

2.6 Witness care units

2.7 Independent domestic violence adviser, young people’s violence adviser and independent sexual violence advisers

3 Risk management

3.1 Checklist: Risk management

3.2 Checklist: Reducing risk in identified cases

3.3 Referral to MARAC

3.4 Domestic violence disclosure scheme

3.5 Perpetrator management as a risk reducing measure

4 Safety planning

4.1 Crime prevention strategies

4.1.1 Improving home security

4.1.2 Neighbourhood and police safety schemes

4.1.3 The role of neighbourhood policing teams

4.1.4 Sanctuary schemes

4.1.5 Technology

4.2 Developing safety plans

4.2.1 Checklist: Principles of safety planning

4.2.2 Checklist: Developing safety plans with victims

4.2.3 Checklist: Safety planning and children

4.3 Example safety plans

4.3.1 If you are staying with your abuser

4.3.2 If you are planning to leave

4.3.3 If you are living without your abuser after separation

Leadership, strategic oversight and management

1 Leadership

2 Strategic oversight

2.1 Duty of positive action

2.2 A force-wide approach

2.2.1 The role of specialists

2.2.2 Domestic abuse as core business

2.2.2.1 Policy

2.2.2.2 Throughout the investigation process

2.2.2.3 The role of neighbourhood policing

2.2.3 Multi-agency considerations

3 Management

3.1 Management of personnel

3.1.1 Specific management considerations when dealing with police perpetrators of domestic abuse

3.1.1.1 Immediate referral

3.1.1.2 Inter-force arrangements

3.1.1.3 Reviews of the investigation

3.1.1.4 Access to records

3.1.1.5 Providing support to victims

3.1.2 Meeting the welfare needs of domestic abuse specialists

3.1.3 Performance management

3.1.4 Training provision

3.2 Management of information

3.2.1 Information technology systems

3.2.1.1 Accessing domestic abuse information

3.2.1.2 Accessing domestic abuse suspect information

3.2.2 Domestic abuse and the intelligence process

3.2.2.1 Gathering and analysing domestic abuse intelligence

3.2.2.2 Using intelligence to target perpetrators

3.2.2.3 Using and managing intelligence to support the domestic violence disclosure scheme

3.2.3 Domestic violence disclosure scheme (Clare’s Law)

3.2.4 Domestic abuse-related media strategies

Partnership working and multi-agency responses/mechanisms

1 Partnership working and information sharing

1.1 Sharing information with the civil court system

1.1.1 Checklist: Sharing evidence for family court hearings

1.1.2 Issues specific to domestic abuse victims in the family court

1.2 Role of police domestic abuse specialists in partnership working

1.2.1 Monitoring the police response to domestic abuse and joint monitoring of multi-agency response

1.2.2 Managing service user consultation

1.2.3 Providing information for multi-agency public protection arrangements

1.2.4 Sharing information with relevant agencies

2 Multi-agency responses/mechanisms

2.1 Community safety partnerships

2.1.1 The role of police and crime commissioners

2.2 Multi-agency delivery of criminal justice services

2.2.1 Local criminal justice partnerships

2.2.2 Service level agreements and joint action plans

2.2.3 Audits

2.2.4 Domestic violence/abuse forums

2.2.5 Local safeguarding children boards

2.2.6 Safeguarding adults boards

2.2.7 Multi-agency public protection arrangements

2.2.8 Multi-agency safeguarding hubs

2.2.9 Multi-agency risk assessment conferences for domestic abuse

2.2.10 Specialist domestic violence court systems

2.2.11 Domestic homicide reviews

Quick access checklists