Last updated: 07.01.16

Police 'letting down' victims of domestic violence and abuse

The police continue to 'let down' victims of domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales, Theresa May has claimed.

The prime minister stated that the 2013 review, made by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) into how the police handled cases of domestic violence and abuse, had led to some improvements but examples of the same shameful attitude remained.

These sentiments were echoed by Women's Aid, who claimed that victims are still being regularly let down by the police.

Speaking at the Police Federation's annual conference, Mrs May said: "Victims of abuse are still being let down and reports are not being taken seriously enough.

?The right skills, training and commitment to protect the vulnerable are still not held by every police officer."
She further spoke of victims not being 'treated with dignity and respect' and of 'officers who couldn't spot dangerous patterns of abuse'.

During her speech to the Police Federation Mrs May claimed that the review had allowed the police to make 'real improvements'.

These improvements included the standardisation of data collection and the fact that every police department in England and Wales now had strategies in place to tackle domestic violence and abuse.

An increase in victims coming forward, crimes being recorded and convictions being made were further highlights identified by Mrs May.

Despite the improvements, Mrs May argued that reports of domestic violence and abuse were still ?not being taken seriously enough? and examples of the behaviour uncovered by the 2013 review were still taking place.

A key issue that remains is one of inappropriate relationships between police officers and victims of domestic violence and abuse. The true scale of the issue is unknown but the home secretary has requested that the HMIC investigate the issue.