LANCASHIRE police provides the best service in the country to victims of domestic violence, a new report has found.
The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found police in the county help to keep victims safe, and said the ‘public can have confidence in the force’s approach’.
Inspector for the north, Roger Baker, said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for the constabulary which has invested in well-trained and specialist staff.
“HMIC found staff demonstrated a high level of commitment and awareness and that they work well with partners. This report outlines a number of areas where the constabulary could further strengthen its response.”
Domestic abuse accounts for seven per cent of all calls for help to the police in Lancashire, and 10 per cent of all recorded crime. Almost 3,500 cases of assault were linked to domestic violence between August 2012 and 2013, and for every 100 crimes recorded, there were 90 arrests in Lancashire, the HMIC said.
The watchdog found that, in Lancashire, domestic abuse was ‘regarded as important and a priority for the constabulary’, and said police worked hard to make victims safer from the first point of contact.
Assistant chief constable, Tim Jacques, said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for Lancashire Constabulary and as such I am pleased with the findings of this report.
“Despite the current financial restraints we have continued to invest in this area and as a result we have dedicated, specialist staff who are completely committed to keeping victims of domestic abuse safe.
“Lancashire also benefits from outstanding partnership support, in particular with the numbers of independent domestic violence advisors, who work across the county assisting the constabulary to safeguard victims and their families.”
Tackling domestic abuse has been a main priority for police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw. He said: “Abuse devastates lives and unfortunately I am all too aware of the tragic consequences it can have.
“Therefore, despite the force's excellence being acknowledged, the constabulary cannot afford to be complacent.”
Karina Wane, of the Wish Centre, in Blackburn, said: “From our experience and from talking to other service providers, I think we have a good partnership with the police and victims get a good response.”