Help for domestic abuse victims

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

New guidance to police on handling domestic abuse has been welcomed by Northumbria’s Crime Commissioner.

The Authorised Professional Practice aims to highlight to officers how to spot patterns of abuse and gather evidence without relying on the victim.

The scheme was introduced to Northumbria Police by Commissioner Vera Baird to combat domestic abuse and to help staff identify coercive control – which is expected to become a criminal offence in December.

She now hopes other forces will follow Northumbria Police’s lead on tackling the crime and supporting victims.

Ms Baird said: “With the training taking place in Northumbria, we’re already one step ahead.

“I am also delighted that our training and toolkit is an exemplar to other forces in tackling domestic abuse and I hope that the new guidance will benefit as many victims as possible.”

Coercive control includes intimidation and humiliation, threats, verbal abuse and stopping contact with friends and family.