HC Deb 13 March 2002 vol 381 cc1105-6W
Margaret Moran

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance is issued to police forces on taking action in respect of personnel who have committed acts of domestic violence; [35541]

(2) what records police authorities keep in respect of a disciplinary action taken in respect of members of staff who have been perpetrators of domestic violence; [35538]

(3) if he will publish guidelines he issues to police authorities on dealing with domestic violence within their work force; [35465]

(4) how many police officers have been subject to disciplinary procedure as a result of perpetration of domestic violence in each of the last three years; [35550]

(5) if he will list for each police authority in England and Wales the number of (a) incidents of domestic violence perpetrated by staff, (b) the number of repeat incidents and (c) the number of disciplinary actions taken over the past five years. [35463]

Mr. Denham

There are no national guidelines to police forces on dealing with domestic violence among their staff or on action to be taken in respect of staff committing acts of domestic violence. Many forces do however have local policies and guidelines detailing how to deal with officers who are alleged to have committed domestic violence offences.

Police forces and authorities keep disciplinary records for individual officers, but there is no central guidance on what should be recorded, other than information that is returned to the Home Office for monitoring purposes. These centrally held figures do not separately identify numbers of police personnel who were subject to disciplinary action in respect of domestic violence, or the number of incidents concerned.

Work is however in progress to ensure that police forces respond effectively to any indication that police staff may be perpetrating domestic violence. This includes a redraft of note C of the Code of Conduct of the Police Regulations 1999 which concerns off duty conduct. Regional professional standards practitioners within police forces have suggested that this amended section will strengthen their powers when dealing with personnel who have allegedly perpetrated domestic violence.