A NEW bid to help raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse is to be rolled out in South Tyneside.
The initiative aims to teach police staff how to recognise coercive control by aggressors over their victims, understand the impact it has on victims and how best to deal with it.
All staff, from the Chief Constable down, will receive the training.
The move comes after a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary identified what it referred to as “poor attitudes” in the police service to the issue of domestic abuse.
The report, entitled Everyone’s Business, also said there was also a lack of understanding of how victims of coercive control are bullied and intimidated.
The new training has been welcomed by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
She said: “I’m delighted that Northumbria Police has responded so positively to my request to devise training to improve the awareness of their staff about coercive control.
“Coercive control is abuse quite different from more obvious and provable physical violence and often involves behaviour that may seem trivial to outsiders, but can have a huge impact on the victim.
“It can consist of intimidation and humiliation, including threats, stalking, verbal abuse, stopping contact with friends and family and deprivation of money or even food.”
She added: “I hope the training can become an exemplar for other forces in tackling domestic abuse in all its forms.”
Winton Keenen, Assistant Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, said: “The aim of the training that we have designed in response to the commissioner’s request is to improve the service a victim of domestic abuse will receive from Northumbria Police.
“This will be by equipping officers with the knowledge they need to deal with perpetrators of the abuse and provide appropriate support to victims.”