Calling the Police
What happens when the police are called to a domestic abuse incident?
Police take all reports of domestic abuse seriously.
When the police receive a call about domestic abuse officers will attend as an emergency response. The call taker will ask you questions about any injuries and where the perpetrator is. The call taker may also send you a ‘Goodsam’ link to allow you to stream the incident to the force control room, although they won’t do this if it places you in danger.
When the police arrive at the location, they will try to talk to the alleged victim and alleged abuser separately. They will be able to administer first aid or call an ambulance if you have any injuries.
Officers will take a written statement from you at the scene or they might record a video statement. If you need help to communicate, such as an interpreter, this can be arranged. If you have any injuries, the officers will take photographs or video these.
As part of the statement, the officers will carry out a risk assessment with you - this is called a DASH and is a list of questions to help to determine how safe you are. After this, the officer might refer you to the IDVA Service or to outreach - you can read more about these elsewhere on our website.
The Officers might speak to any potential witnesses - this might be neighbours who could have overheard something or they might speak to someone you have told about the abuse you are experiencing.
In some cases, the perpetrator will be arrested and taken into custody. The police will keep you updated and might need to ask your more questions. If enquiries are ongoing, the perpetrator may be released on bail - bail for domestic abuse related investigations will include rules that the perpetrator cannot contact you and might be prevented from going to your address or your work address.
Even if there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the investigation, the police will consider a Domestic Violence Protection Notice - this means the offender cannot contact you for 48 hours and, in some cases, this can be extended to 28 days.
The police have created a short film that explains what happens when they are called out to a domestic abuse incident, you can watch the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmAceyZZuA