Surrey Police has worked hard over recent years to considerably improve its response to domestic abuse and this has included the delivery of joint training with the CPS to increase understanding of evidence led investigations. This has included the effective use of Res gestae as a gateway to allow hearsay evidence against defendants in domestic abuse cases to be presented, recognising that it can be very difficult for complainants to give evidence against their partners or family members.
The use of body worn video is of course a powerful tool for officers to capture effective evidence and I am pleased that we have locally seen advances in the technology used. In addition, Surrey Police has recently established a regularly held scrutiny panel to review a sample of domestic abuse cases, at which my office will be represented, along with CPS and local specialist support services, to discuss areas of good practice and identify where lessons can be learned. Surrey Police has currently reviewed its training for domestic abuse to ensure the progress made is sustained and the effective use of ‘DA mentors’ and delivering refresher training is a now a priority.
I receive 6 monthly update reports to my Performance Meeting with the Chief Constable on how Surrey Police is tackling Domestic Abuse and I will continue to keep this high risk area of policing activity under close scrutiny.