Training - 003/16
Dated: 22 Apr 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 3 January 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
The Serious Crime Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 3 March 2015 and coercive control became a criminal offence as of 29 December 2015. This request is being made to all 43 police forces to ascertain the progress in raising awareness of the new law and any relevant training. Please provide the following information:-
a) Has any formal training been provided by the force and if so when did this commence?
b) Was the training package prepared internally, or in partnership with an outside organisation?
b) Who is receiving the training e.g. all officers and police staff or specialist units dealing with domestic abuse.
c) What form does the training take e.g. classroom training/computer based training etc?
d) Please provide a copy of the training material.
e) If a training package prepared by the college of policing is being utilised, on what date did the force receive the training package.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
a) Classroom based training was delivered from 02 February 2015 and is on going until 27 January 2016.
b) The training was prepared and delivered in partnership with Wearside Women in Need, which is non-profit organisation providing refuge, advice and support to women and children suffering domestic violence, sexual or physical abuse.
c) Police officers in patrol, neighbourhood, firearms, roads policing, communications, crime and specialist operations roles formed the target audience for the training alongside community support officers and police staff in prosecution, investigation and customer service roles.
d) The training is a 3 hour classroom based delivery with a case study exercise and group discussion.
e) The information at this point has been provided in such a way as to avoid exemptions being applied. Particularly the exemption outlined in Section 40 of the Act would become fully applicable should there be a real risk of individuals being identifiable through the release of information in response to a Freedom of Information request. In this case, should the full detail be supplied, it is clear from the information held that the individuals involved would quite easily be identified if a complete response was to be released into the public domain. The information below is supplied in the spirit of the Act. Please note that this disclosure will be taken into consideration should any further requests be submitted on this subject.
With the above in mind please see our response immediately below
Coercive Control training
As the session is a facilitated input the trainers specialist knowledge is required to bring the material into context.
Following an introduction and welfare issues being addressed, students are invited to complete an evaluation exercise. Its purpose is to identify their current understanding and confidence in dealing with coercive and controlling behaviour in domestic abuse. The questions reflect the objectives.
The session starts with the trainer providing a presentation to the class. This is delivered by means of powerpoint and the purpose is to contextualise coercive and controlling behaviour.
The students are provided with a handout identifying common domestic abuse myths and facts.
The main learning takes place during the course of a case study that involves feeds and tasks. Through the case study students are introduced to coercive controlling behaviour and the impact it has on the victim, children and police investigation.
Students work in groups of four. The first feed presents the case from the officer attendings perspective; students examine this to identify what the officer may be thinking as they enter the home address to deal with the call and how this may influence judgment and decision making. Following a debrief of this and an input from the trainer regarding working rules and Betaris box, they return to the case study. In their groups they are provided with the account of events and history from the victim, offender, their child and the caller who is the neighbour. The students read the account they have been provided with and complete the task by answering from the perspective of that person. The task draws out the different elements of coercive controlling behaviour and the impact it has on the victim, children and neighbour. The trainer works among the groups facilitates discussions and checking understanding.
The trainer debriefs the task in the plenary drawing feedback from each group. They develop understanding by probing answers and using models to illustrate and explain coercive controlling behaviour and its impact on those in the case study.
The case study is brought to a conclusion in an examination of how this knowledge can improve the response of the original officer attending. The groups are tasked to consider how the offender may seek to disrupt or manipulate core policing activities.
The trainer closes the session by showing a DVD clip of a local victim who talks about their positive experience of the initial police response. The positive message is reaffirmed by the trainer.
Students are asked to state one thing they will take from the session.
Students are invited to complete an evaluation exercise. The purpose is to identify their understanding and confidence in dealing with coercive and controlling behaviour in domestic abuse incident following the session.
Recap support available to staff who may have been affected by the training.
Trainer completes a cognitive closing exercise with the students.
f) Northumbria Police's Coercive Control training package was developed and delivery commenced prior to the release of the College of Policing training package.
You may also be interested in the following comment from the NPCC portfolio, by ACC Louisa Rolfe which is relevant to your query :
Every police force is working hard to increase the confidence of victims to report domestic abuse and we have seen a substantial increase in reporting nationally with greater understanding of all forms of abuse, not just physical violence. The new domestic abuse offence of Controlling and Coercive Behaviour within the Serious Crime Act is another tool to help the police service and CPS prosecute perpetrators of domestic abuse and protect victims. It will provide more opportunities to evidence other forms of domestic abuse, beyond physical violence. Not only will this encourage more victims to report we hope, but also the concerned family and friends of victims.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.