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RGP to receive specialised training on tackling domestic abuse

SafeLives, a UK-based charity that works to end domestic abuse, will deliver specialised training to officers of the Royal Gibraltar Police tasked with responding to such cases.

The training has been commissioned by the Minister for Justice, Samantha Sacramento, following discussion with the Commissioner of Police, Richard Ullger.

The aim is to enhance the RGP’s skills and knowledge in this sensitive area, which it tackles in partnership with other key agencies dealing with this serious social problem.

The ‘DA Matters Cultural Change Programme for Police’ programme is focused on the policing response to victims of domestic abuse, the identification of the perpetrators and its prevention.

It will also examine safeguarding options for victims and children, as well as improving communication techniques to be used by officers when interacting with victims and others affected by such incidents.

“The programme has been delivered to over half of the UK police services to date, and aims to help RGP deliver the best service to adult victims and children experiencing domestic abuse,” said Melani Morgan, Domestic Abuse Matters Lead for SafeLives.

“The ‘critical friend Health Check’ element of the programme, which the force is taking part in before the start of the training elements of the programme, helps the force to consider their policies and processes around domestic abuse and make improvements where necessary.”

“The training of all frontline officers and staff will build on their skills and knowledge and assist them to provide a needs and risk based police response to domestic abuse.”

The training programme has been developed in conjunction with the UK College of Policing with the aim of improving police response to these type of incidents.

The course will serve to address one of the recommendations contained in the recent report of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services regarding police officers’ understanding of domestic abuse issues.

The report recommended that the RGP bolster the way it responds to reports of domestic abuse and the support it provides for victims.

“The Government of Gibraltar is committed to vigorously tackle domestic abuse in our society,” said Samantha Sacramento, the Minister for Justice.

“This training programme will build upon the work already undertaken by the RGP and will provide police officers and other stakeholders with the tools required to better deal with such instances, to detect and penalise offenders and to protect victims.”

"We will continue to provide the necessary resources to eradicate this unacceptable behaviour from the community.”

“This is part of a programme to deliver such training to all agencies to equip them to better deal with domestic abuse.”

Assistant Commissioner Cathal Yeats said the SafeLives programme was part of a comprehensive training schedule for police officers dealing with domestic abuse.

“The RGP is keen to work hand in hand with other Government of Gibraltar agencies and authorities to provide guidance and education for officers to improve our overall response and to better under-stand this serious problem,” Mr Yeats said.

“Ultimately our aim, the aim of this collaborative effort, is to help victims of abusive relationships to be able to rebuild their lives and leave behind all the distress of the past.”

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