Policing domestic violence refers to a scientifically developed application that aims at solving the domestic violence problem. In the past, it has involved testing of hypothesis in relation to the classification, prediction and the domestic violence prevention. Policing domestic violence policing as a tool of solving domestic violence also experiences several challenges as a crime prevention strategy (Hoctor, 2007. p. 53). In order to identify more effective policing strategies for domestic violence prevention and control, a culture of science is very necessary where the strategy integrates trial and error as a norm in crime prevention.
The domestic violence policing programs aim at offering support to victims of domestic violence while at the same time preventing domestic violence. However, the public has raised concern about the domestic violence public policy. Lawrence et al states that in the past, the public has been concerned about the domestic violence policy. This is because it is sometimes based on ideology and it lacks evidence based on science. The public advocates for an effective domestic violence policing which should be practical and also be implemented appropriately. This would be a very good measure in preventing domestic violence (Lawrence S.
et al, 24). In the last decade, police response to domestic violence has been criticized with a claim that the police did not take violence incidents seriously. However, effective measures to curb domestic violence are being developed and implemented through better policing. In this paper, the domestic violence policing issue will be discussed. The ethical stance of domestic violence in policing will be looked at, as well as the police departments’ responsibility of policing. The past system and current issues arising due to violence will be evaluated. Discussion
For effective policing in domestic violence, a cultural evolution in policing needs to be developed in order to support the scientific revolution in order to solve the domestic violence problem. The cultural evolution rapid movement requires a growing partnership between the police and criminologists, public health community officers and professional scientists. Coherence of approach by the different police units to domestic violence is promoted by policy statements or documents where the Police officers introduce the policy documents with varying extent and content.
With the increasing reports of domestic violence to the police, the police service has been required to utilize their limited resources to improve domestic violence service delivery to the people. “Domestic violence is a great concern for the community where the police intervene in many cases”(Lawrence, 1992, 126). Whenever the police receive an initial call for assistance, it is their responsibility to provide immediate protection to the victim due to the fact that the “police have certain powers which allow them to respond to domestic violence incidents” (Lawrence, 1992, 126).
“Whether the victims feel confident in contacting the police departments later in future will depend on how the police perform their tasks when the victim makes the initial contact” (Lawrence, 1992, 126). The police have a major role in arresting criminals or offenders with the perpetrators of domestic violence considered as criminals because they undermine the human rights of the victims. The suspects are usually arrested and charged if there is enough evidence of violence against the victim.
However, “law enforcement officers should ensure that the suspect’s rights are not violated” (Lawrence, 1992, 126) until the truth is established much later as one of the requirement in the police departmental policy. The police forces have domestic violence policy documents which contain written aims and priorities that are expected to assist them either solve, prevent or reduce domestic violence incidents. The policy documents normally contain the domestic violence definition, its implications, as well as guidance about the various police response components.
The responsibility to implement domestic violence policies is something that is shared across a range of the police roles. The policies are very vital in protecting domestic violence victims against actions of exploitation such as domestic violence involving withholding of economic resources from a victim. Some children are even denied education through this form of abuse, as well partners who do not work. This denies the victims their basic needs, which is considered unethical and unacceptable.
Domestic violence policing prevents this form of exploitation and instead promotes ethical practices in the society. Through policing, public safety problems are defined, analyzed and effective solutions to the problems addressed. Though the society is responsible for propagating ethics, it sometimes undermines the ethics if it allows domestic violence to occur without taking any action. For instance, in patriarchal societies, men are sometimes allowed to completely dominate over women.
This had led to lack of knowledge and empowerment in women to speak out against violence, whereby the victims lack the ability to express their views and opinions with those who do not adhere to this being severely punished through domestic violence. Domestic violence policies have been developed to address such cultural practices with the police ensuring that law enforcement in relation to such policies is carried out.
The police department should have the responsibility of policing domestic violence in the community because they are law enforcers who are responsible for ensuring law and order is maintained in the society and the human rights are well protected. Preventing and reducing domestic violence is one of the ways in which the human rights of everyone in the community are protected. For instance in Australia, “police powers and procedures are well set out in the Crimes Act 1990”(Policing Domestic Violence in New South Wales NSW, 1999).
In addition, the police powers can be found in the police guidelines, referred to as Domestic Violence Standard Operating Procedures. Another example can be seen in the US, where the police department has adopted mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. For spousal violence cases, arrest based on probable cause could be done where the Police officers were allowed to arrest suspects without a warrant as long as the officers had probable cause whether he/she had witnessed the incident or not. This was happening in 23 states of the United States of America by the year 2005 (Hoctor, 2007)
As law enforcers, the police have a responsibility to ensure criminals are charged in court which mitigates future abuse. The police department receives reports on domestic violence from the community members and then investigates the cases to establish the cause of the abuse, the effects and the victim or offender. After establishing the facts about a case, offenders are charged in court. For instance policies allow police officers to apply for an apprehended violence order (AVO), which guides the judicial process (Lawrence, 1992, p. 101).