What Can the Police Do?
The police have a responsibility to investigate incidents of domestic abuse and can arrest and charge people who are committing these crimes. From July 2005, the evidence of the victim is no longer required to pursue a prosecution.
Protecting the public from harm is one of West Mercia Police's key priorities. We are determined to effectively tackle domestic abuse and have outlined a series of priorities in our Three Year Strategic Plan, these are:
- To protect the lives of both adults and children who are at risk as a result of domestic abuse
- To investigate all reports of domestic abuse
- To facilitate effective action against offenders so they can be held accountable through the criminal justice system
- To adopt a proactive multi-agency approach in preventing and reducing domestic abuse.
To effectively tackle domestic abuse and achieve our priorities, West Mercia Police has established a Domestic Abuse Unit on each of our five divisions. Each team comprises a mixture of specialist officers and staff who are experienced in dealing sensitively with allegations of domestic abuse. Local Policing Teams around the force work closely with the Domestic Abuse Units to provide reassurance and support to victims.
Each of our Domestic Abuse Units work proactively with partner agencies through monthly Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs). These meetings are a forum for all the local partners to come together to put effective actions plans into place, ensuring victims receive a comprehensive level of care.
West Mercia Police and our partners are committed to bringing more abusers to justice and have established Specialist Domestic Violence Courts which are led by specially trained magistrates and involve police, prosecutors and the probation service.
Although we continue to explore new ways of tackling domestic abuse, there is nothing we or other agencies can do to help victims if we are not given the information to act upon. By working together, we can make a real difference and potentially save lives.