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Cause of concern

HMIC has concerns about the quality of investigation and decision-making in relation to some domestic abuse cases referred to the resolution centre. Sussex Police needs to improve its response to victims of domestic abuse by ensuring that all staff understand how to identify, assess, respond to and safeguard these victims at initial contact. Risk assessments are on occasion being completed over the telephone without an officer seeing the victim in person. This may result in the risk not being fully assessed and a victim of domestic abuse (and other family members) not being appropriately safeguarded.


To address this cause of concern HMIC recommends that the force should take immediate steps to ensure that:

  • it improves its initial assessment and response to incidents involving all vulnerable people, but particularly victims of domestic abuse by ensuring that staff working in call handling understand and apply the THRIVE decision-making model, and are supervised effectively. The force response to incidents is determined upon this initial assessment of risk in order to ensure victims are kept safe;
  • it reviews immediately the approach to assessing risks to victims of domestic abuse and ensures that all victims of abuse are visited and dealt with in a timely manner; and
  • investigations, including those conducted within the resolution centre, are conducted to appropriate standards with effective supervision.

[on]2nd March 2017 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]10th April 2018 [comment]

This was re-inspected in the PEEL: police effectiveness 2017 inspection and has been remedied by the force. Sussex Police no longer assesses the risk to victims of domestic abuse by telephone. THRIVE is well understood and there is adequate supervision in call handling.

[/comment][/on][on]3rd May 2018 [status]complete[/status][/on]