PSNI criticised for handling of domestic violence

By Lenore Rice

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has come under criticism for failing to implement improvements on how they deal with domestic violence three years after they were agreed upon.

Recent figures revealed that the PSNI receives 3 calls per hour in respect of domestic abuse, and with recorded incidents at their highest level since records began, the need for police officers to be properly trained and equipped to deal with domestic abuse is greater than ever. However, a Criminal Justice Inspection report was completed 3 years ago, making 13 recommendations on how to improve the way police deal with domestic abuse cases.

A new report says that only 1 of those changes has been implemented in full, 6 have been partially introduced, and 6 have not been adopted at all. Chief criminal justice inspector Brendan McGuigan was particularly annoyed that many of the 13 recommendations were actually from the police themselves, and says that some of the momentum that had been gathered in 2010 has obviously been lost, with victims of domestic violence not therefore receiving the support they require.

A further CJI inspection has been scheduled for 2015, and the PSNI has officially said it is committed to implementing the recommendations of the 2010 report, and "to the protection and welfare of victims".

If you require legal advice or information from a Northern Ireland solicitor specialising in domestic abuse cases, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.

To read more information about the legal aspects of domestic abuse click here.