When should I call the police?
The police are available 24 hours a day. They take domestic abuse seriously and will be able to help and protect you.
Contact your local neighbourhood policing team if it’s not an emergency.
Many forms of domestic abuse and coercive control are crimes, and it is important to remember that these crimes are just as serious as if it were from a stranger.
What happens when I call the police?
The first role of the police when they are called is to ensure that you are safe, and to protect you from further harm.
As your safety is the most important issue, the police should allow you to speak with them away from your abuser, so you do not feel intimidated or scared.
The police will take a statement from you and you can request a woman police officer if you would feel more comfortable with this.
“The police officers really helped me because they told me what he was doing was abuse. It had never occurred to me before.” – Chlo
The police should provide you with an interpreter if you need one, and should never ask your family members or a friend to interpret.
What can the police do?
Police officers can use their powers to intervene, arrest, caution or charge your abuser. If your abuser is arrested they can be held for up to 24 hrs (36 hrs at the weekend) before the police need to charge them.
If your abuser is not with you when the police arrive, they can still be arrested. The police should put out a description of them and make every effort to find them.
Officers should also gather evidence (for example, photos of damage or injury) in order to charge and build a case that does not rely just on your statement.
If the abuser is arrested by the police and then charged it is then their decision whether to keep them in custody or to release them on bail.
If they are released on police bail you should expect the police to inform you about the conditions of the bail. If the bail conditions are then broken you will know what action you should expect the police to take in order to help keep you and your family safe.< Back to Advice