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Citizens Advice response to announced investigation into police handling of domestic abuse

17 May 2016

The Home Secretary Theresa May has today announced that police forces across the UK will be investigated over their handling of domestic abuse cases.

Citizens Advice has said that the investigation will bring welcome scrutiny and that, despite improvements in police handling of domestic abuse cases, some victims aren’t given the protection orders to keep themselves safe.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The police handling of domestic abuse cases sometimes leaves victims without the protection they need.

“The police have made crucial improvement over the last two years but some victims still do not get the support they need. We have helped people who have had no choice but to stay in the same house as their abuser after reporting an incident because police treated the matter as a civil issue or didn’t offer the victim measures to help keep them safe, like Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

“For people who may have suffered from years of abuse police can be the first contact they have with authorities, so it is good news that there will now be greater scrutiny.

“An investigation into police handling of domestic abuse needs to look into whether victims are taken seriously and supported when they report any kind of domestic abuse, including physical violence or having their money or day to day lives controlled.”

Citizens Advice has developed guidance on how to identify abuse, the steps people can take when someone discloses abuse, and the ways people can get in touch with professional organisations.

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.