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Domestic abuse

Authorised Professional Practice

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This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

Major investigation and public protection

This authorised professional practice (APP) on domestic abuse has been developed through the consolidation and updating of pre-existing ACPO (2008) Guidance on Investigating Domestic Abuse, and professional expertise of police and voluntary sector practitioners. The section on risk assessment and risk factors draws on findings from systematic reviews of research evidence. Where the guidance draws on any empirical evidence it is explicitly referenced in the text.

The APP responds to a number of developments in the field of domestic abuse, in particular a new Home Office definition of domestic violence and abuse. The definition recognises the significance of controlling or coercive behaviour in better understanding domestic abuse. During the development of this APP, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) also released its findings from a major inspection of how all police forces in England and Wales handle allegations of domestic abuse.

For practitioner resources see College of Policing: Principles for the identification, assessment and management of serial or potentially dangerous domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators.

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