We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Police response to immigrant victims of domestic abuse “patchy”

Speaking to the Home Affairs Committee this week, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, has said the police response to victims with uncertain immigration status is patchy.

An inconsistent police response to victims of domestic abuse who have an uncertain immigration status is inconsistent, the DA Commissioner has said.

Speaking yesterday to the Home Affairs Committee Nicole Jacobs said: “Of course there are many many people doing the very best they can but across the board the response is quite patchy.

“I just think we cannot tolerate that any longer, we have to have a more consistent approach more clear expectations from force to force [outlining] exactly what should be happening for these most vulnerable individuals.

“The one thing everyone agrees on - police really would benefit having more organisations like Safety for Sisters in their local areas.

“The trouble is there’s no direct plan for that happening yet.”

The Commissioner’s officer is due to publish a report in October mapping out the services that are available in local force areas.

In December 2020, HMICFRS, the College and the IOPC urged police to stop sharing immigration information with the government regarding concerns over the residency status of domestic abuse victims.

It followed a super-complaint submitted by charities Liberty and Southall Black Sisters.

HMICFRS consequently said that the “current situation is not serving the interests of victims of crime” and supported the idea of an “immediate change in police practice”. The report asked for a consideration of a ‘firewall’ between police and immigration enforcement status.

Ms Jacobs said she “really was disappointed” that the Government has not taken up this recommendation.

In place of a firewall, there will be an Immigration Enforcement Migrant Victims Protocol – the details for which have not yet been shared.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Roy Wilsher said that since the super-complaint, things have started to change- including the NPCC updated guidance that safeguarding “should come first” as well as the College’s inclusion of migrant women in its domestic risk assessment methodology.

He added that through the investigation into the super complaint, they did not find that immigration enforcement was being prioritised above safeguarding.

He said: “It was just a thing the police always did and there were some inconsistencies in how the information was provided some really looked at the issue and safeguarding first

“Although we’ve not made progress on a firewall or a protocol that we would all have wished for, and we would like that to be progressed in some manner, I think things have started to change.”

The Home Office said it is committed to supporting all domestic abuse victims, regardless of their immigration status.

A spokesman said: “Following a review into data-sharing arrangements between policing and immigration enforcement, it was concluded that a ‘firewall’ is not an appropriate solution as stopping information sharing can impact law enforcement agencies to support victims.

“We are establishing a migrant victim protocol which will provide assurance to victims that they can report crime.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 1
In Other News
Albanian OCG dismantled thanks to joint Op with Spain
Derbyshire PCC funds stalking advocate positions
Hampshire’s Project Foundation and the “ugly truth” of domestic abuse
AI helps Suffolk improve domestic violence reporting
More News