‘Pro-arrest’ policy disregarded

Otago Daily Times Thu, 20 Aug 2009

Police make arrests in little more than 20% of domestic violence incidents, despite a policy to arrest wherever there is evidence of violence in the home, a study has found. A Canterbury University study says the “pro-arrest” policy of police is not being followed because of the difficulties facing frontline officers, and officers are becoming cynical and providing incomplete or false information in their reports to avoid being criticised.

Masters student Jenny Cross and Associate Prof Greg Newbold were given access to hundreds of police reports from domestic violence incidents, and interviewed and rode along with police in conducting their research. The Christchurch-based study will be published soon in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.