Domestic Violence

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Police Staff Conference 2004
1 March 2004

Conference recognises that domestic violence is an issue that affects police staff members both as workers and as citizens. It is an issue that is relevant to both policing and trade unions. Conference welcomes the recent moves by Government to raise awareness of domestic violence and to improve the provision of services to victims, particularly through inter-agency working. However, there is still concern at the levels of funding available to Government and non-government agencies that are providing invaluable assistance to both victims and perpetrators.

Conference is concerned that it is still not widely known that domestic violence accounts for at least 25% of all violent crime, that one in four women will experience domestic violence at some time in their lives and that every week at least two women will be killed by violent partners or ex-partners.

Conference notes that through the National Policing Plan 2004-2007, the Home Office has demonstrated that they do not consider domestic violence to be a key priority work area for police forces. This vital issue is listed in the plan under “other areas of police work”.

Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive to:

1)lobby the Home Office with a view to:

a) increasing the importance of domestic violence as a policing issue; and

b)increasing the funding available to statutory and voluntary sector bodies concerned in tackling domestic violence.

2)work with the National Executive Council, appropriate Self Organised Groups and Labour Link in order to maximise the effectiveness of work in this area.

Conference recognises that domestic violence affects the working lives of police staff. Many of our members are increasingly involved in the operational aspects of policing and will come into contact with both victims and perpetrators. This could disproportionately affect any members who are victims of this type of crime. It is now also accepted that victims could be working in the same police building as their perpetrator. UNISON was one of the first trade unions to realise that violence in the home is a trade union issue through its ground-breaking campaign “Raise the Roof”. Conference therefore instructs the Service Group Executive also to:

i)issue guidance to branches on negotiating workplace policies on domestic violence, in order to support and assist members who become victims;

ii)work with the NEC and appropriate SOGs to adapt any existing guidance to ensure that it includes our service group issues;

iii)ensure that any materials produced include information relating to domestic violence for lesbian, gay, bi sexual and transgender members.