Policing domestic violence : police policy and discretion and the need for a multi-agency response
As gatekeeper to the criminal justice system the Police Service is placed in a unique position to respond to the problem of domestic violence. The police are a reactive agency that is available 24 hours every day, but the activities, or more appropriately the inactivity, of the police to effectively deal with domestic violence has been the subject of considerable scrutiny over the past 20 years or so. Previous research has tended to centre around the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and pointed towards a police service that is generally unsympathetic and unhelpful. Whilst considerable advances have been made over recent years and attitudes are changing, there is still the perception, whether right or wrong, that the police stance has not changed sufficiently to make any real difference.