Domestic abuse is ‘top priority’ for Sussex Police


SUSSEX Police has accepted there are areas for ‘further improvement’, following a report on how it handles domestic abuse cases.

The report published today (March 27) by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) scrutinises the performance of police forces across the country.

The force has been praised for the work it does, but also areas where it could improve.

Superintendent Paul Furnell, of specialist crime command, said: “Dealing with domestic abuse is a top priority for Sussex Police, so we welcome HMIC’s praise for our commitment in tackling the issue and accept its recommendations on ways in which we can improve our service even further.

“We particularly welcome HMIC’s acknowledgement that Sussex is the first police force in the country to achieve White Ribbon status. White Ribbon UK is an international organisation working to involve men in opposing violence and abuse against women.”

The report was commissioned last year by the home secretary.

The report refers to data showing that, as at the end of August last year, for every 100 domestic abuse incident calls in Sussex, 55 resulted in arrest.

Supt Furnell added: “It will always be an officer’s decision as to whether or not to arrest a suspect and we expect our staff to take positive action at every domestic incident, considering the incident as a whole and reassuring the victim that every step will be taken to ensure a positive outcome for them.”

While highlighting good commitment levels by the force, the report also makes it clear a more streamlined approach to victim care must be developed.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “We welcome the feedback and will work to ensure a joined up approach is developed and strengthened.”

She added: “The force accepts that there are areas for further improvement, including training and awareness of officers and staff, better use of communications technology to update responding officers, improving procedures for assessing cases and an extra focus on victim safety alongside the prosecution of offenders.”

To contact Sussex Police about domestic abuse, call 101 or email, or in an emergency dial 999 at any time.

If you don’t want to talk to the police, talk to someone.

These organisations can also help:

- The 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247,

- West Sussex - WORTH on 0330 222 8181

For further information and advice go to the Sussex Police { abuse|website}