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  1. I realise that DV is a serious and important issue. I know the risks around it. But, I often wonder if the way that we deal with it sometimes causes more problems than it solves. A lot of forces have a positive action policy, which in reality is little more than a positive arrest policy, but is this really the right way to go? Often, police turn up after things have calmed down. Our interference then can sometimes make things worse. Sometimes, I agree, it is necessary and needed, but is the blanket positive arrest policy really the best way to go? Should we be trusting officers on scene to make decisions, to risk assess their actions, to make their decisions and decide actions based on what they see, based on intelligence they can get and the individual circumstances they are faced with, rather than a blanket one size fits all approach? In the past year or so, I’ve attended a number of domestic incidents that include:- - Boyfriend and girlfriend arguing. She wants him to leave and he won’t. She phones 999 but he agrees to go so she puts the phone down. This comes through as an abandoned call to police and officers attend, arriving 30 mins or so later. Boyfriend is leaving as police arrive. Both parties spoken to separately. She says he wouldn’t leave so she hit him. He confirms she hit him but he says he deserved it for refusing to leave, he won’t provide a statement, make any allegations or support any police action. He leaves her flat. He has no keys to return. Supervising Sgt is happy with a crime report to go on as the risk is managed. The domestic detectives want her arrested, in her own home, for trying to eject the boyfriend who doesn’t live there. Duty Inspector supports detectives so officers forced to arrest and threatened if they don’t, they will be in bother. The person who called police for help, is therefore arrested….. Will she call us next time she needs us? Does she now trust us? - Mother and son arguing. Police arrive after everything is calm. The son had minor anxiety issues and police being there really set him off again. Mother refused to make a statement or press charges regarding a table being flipped over. Mother went into the neighbours for a few hours, promising not to return home, whilst the neighbour who is good friends with both and has a good relationship with the son, went to calm him down. If the son was arrested, he would have massively kicked off and it would have destroyed any trust the mother had in us. There were no history of domestics between the two and the informant was a neighbour. - Boyfriend and girlfriend staying in an air B&B (a rented flat) for a night. They have an argument and police are called. Whilst speaking to the boyfriend, he discloses to an officer “in strict confidence, off the record” that she went to slap him twice earlier. No contact, no injuries. He is adamant he doesn’t want her arrested and won’t provide a statement or support any police action. They are tourists in the city they are in and have both been drinking, so neither can go elsewhere. Only option is leave them together – which the officers who are there want to do – or arrest her. More units are called for because the officers know if she is arrested, he won’t be happy. She ended up getting arrested at which point, he kicks off too. He then storms off, saying he’s more angry now than when they were arguing and the police have made everything worse. - Female calls saying her boyfriend won’t leave. No domestic history between the pair, she makes it clear on the call she just wants him to go home and not to be arrested, etc. Police arrive and he’s disappeared. Whilst taking details, he returns from the shop, which is where he had gone. The police have managed to extract from her by questioning a very minor assault. He knocks on her bedroom window, she tells him to come in and he goes round to the front door. Police tell him he can’t come in and to go home, which he does. Officers criticised by the domestic detectives for not arresting him, whilst the victim only called police to get him out of the property and was clear she wouldn’t support any police action or provide a statement. Detectives later issue an arrest enquiry for common assault. In my view, there are better ways that we could deal with some of the above incidents. I personally, feel like the second and last incidents were dealt with correctly, with a common sense approach, as positive action was taken. The first and third incidents, police involvement was appropriate but in the end, the police actions has just made things worse. Clearly, if the two parties involved are high risk, there are regular domestics, there are injuries or there are offences whereby the victim supports police action and is willing to provide the evidence, then I have no issues with dealing with those offences and completely agree the suspects should be arrested. But I just worry that the current, blanket approach as a result of positive action is not always having the best outcome and I worry that sometimes we are not helping situations and causing more problems in the long term. Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences to share re domestic incidents?

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