to think there is a problem if your partner or spouse is in the police force?

(47 Posts)
amillionyears Wed 30-Jan-13 20:44:33

I have seen a few threads on MN where a partner has a problem in their relationship,particularly where violence is involved. But because their partner is in the police force, they are more frightened, and are unsure of what to do. Particularly as regards reporting them?
AIBU?

DeepRedBetty Thu 31-Jan-13 15:29:51

OP might be a good idea to report your own first post and ask HQ to change the wording in the thread title, it's not a case of could read that I meant that all partners or spouses have a problem if they are with a member of the police force - it reads as anyone whose partner is a police officer has a problem. Which is untrue, and upsetting to MNetters who are police officers or their partners.

Very offensive - I have few family members in the police and they are all great!

amillionyears Thu 31-Jan-13 15:11:08

Are we not allowed to become more educated about the police and other matters on MN?

BerylStreep Thu 31-Jan-13 15:04:55

OP, I think it poor form starting a thread about a thread, then linking to said thread, especially in AIBU. The OP in this particular case asked for advice in Relationships, not AIBU.

I also think your thread title and OP are massive and insulting generalisations to officers and their spouses. The notion that police officers will 'cover up for their mates' is ill-informed and misguided.

All UK police forces have Professional Standards Departments, who will take forward misconduct proceedings against officers involved in criminality, whether on or off duty, and including cases of domestic abuse. One of the difficulties in taking forward cases against police officers is reluctance on the part of their spouse to provide evidence, IME not out of fear of repercussions, but because a conviction for DA will without doubt result in dismissal, having a knock on effect on family finances.

Even if this happens, if a police service is aware of an officer with DA issues, where it hasn't been possible to progress criminal or misconduct proceedings as a result of lack of evidence, the officer will still be risk assessed, and may be repositioned to a role where they will have no contact with the public, or victims of DA. They would also have any access to firearms reviewed and revoked and vetting levels reviewed.

In short, you don't know what you are talking about.

I'm saying that domestic abuse victims have a hell of a lot to contend with with the justice system. The police service is improving thank goodness since I joined and particularly cases where spouses and partners of police officers are investigated with more vigour perhaps than the norm.CPS need further training though on how to review and present DA cases- something which I am pushing for now.

It is difficult to bring to court - even once a victim has come forward. Often the perp or his extended family will Put pressure in the victim to withdraw their case.

On saying all this I recently helped my Dsis best friend and she had a positive outcome as a victim of domestic violence.

amillionyears Wed 30-Jan-13 22:43:24

Plomino, thanks for sharing that. And thanks for doing your job.

JustasmallGless. I dont know if I quite understood correctly. Are you saying that a lot of people who report dv dont end up getting justice, whoever they are?

Salmotrutta Wed 30-Jan-13 22:34:55

inNeedOfBrandy -your link isn't research. And it's from the USA where police "culture" is somewhat different.

Plomino- sorry you have had a shit day. Been there done that and it really sucks doesn't it. Yy to how to deal with the stress which is exceptional. Glad you have got your singing!

Here's hoping tomorrow is but better for you.

The issue isn't about the occupation as I truly believe the culture of covering for bent cops has gbe. It's about DV victims as a whole having faith in the justice system. If it were to happen to me I don't know if I would report tbh

Plomino Wed 30-Jan-13 22:28:31

I am a police officer . My DH is not . I have been to a number of calls involving domestic violence , where one or other party has been a police officer . If they have been the violent or abusive one, they leave with me . In handcuffs . If anything , allegations against police officers get investigated far more thoroughly , BECAUSE they are police officers , and most usually by the directorate of professional standards . We have to be seen to be acting 'without fear or favour ' according to our statement of common purpose . All this crap about officers being 'let off' because they are old bill , is just that . Bollocks . In this day and age , forces are using any excuse to get rid of officers because they are skint , even down to sacking officers for out of date tax discs and calling it a lack of integrity . They really really wouldn't let anyone committing domestic violence remain .

Even if the CPS were to refuse to charge ( and please bear in mind that its they who make the decision , NOT the police ) then the officers would get put before a discipline board , and he'd lose his job anyway .

Yes there is a high divorce rate . No , we're not all over the side . Sometimes, doing a really really shit job that no one else wants to do , but being told how to do it by everyone and his cat from the comfort of their armchair , for ever longer years , and gradually decreasing money , tends to cause people to be unbearable to live with .

Take today . I have frankly had a motherfucker of a day in which someone died years before their time , and there was fuck all I could do to help him although god knows I tried . I really did . I was there when his brothers punched a hole through the hospital wall , and his mother collapsed in my arms . I have had to bin my uniform as it is now a health hazard . I will be there at the mortuary tomorrow to identify him to the pathologist before his pm .

And it might happen again tomorrow . I accept this as an occupational hazard , but am also very glad that I have a 100 mile drive home , in which to turn the music up very VERY loud , and sing the stress out of my system . Others don't , and take stress home , which isn't good for any marriage , regardless of occupation.

Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:59:27

Also most victims are afraid of reporting. For various reasons - years of conditioning, they are sorry, they love their abuser, afraid they won't be believed.

On average someone suffers 35 incidents of domestic violence before they report.
A very high percentage of those that eventually report will withdraw their statements over and over again.
Most domestic violence offenders are very different outside the home - kind, caring, etc and people find it hard to believe someone they know so well could do this.

It is frustrating when a victim withdraws their statement, but it's not their fault. They will have been living for this for years, and all they really want is the person they fell in love with to come back and the abuser part of that person to go away.

amillionyears Wed 30-Jan-13 21:55:51
Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:53:34

If someone on here is being abused by their police officer partner the police will take it seriously. In my force we have a positive arrest policy so if it's reported but the victim doesn't want to proceed we still arrest. We can do 'victimless' prosecution where the victim does not give a statement but if there is enough evidence we can charge them.

Of course not everyone will be charged. It depends on the evidence. If someone who is a police officer that is an offender doesn't get charged it will be due to lack of evidence. Not because they are a police officer.

nefertarii Wed 30-Jan-13 21:48:54

Eh thats 2 different situations.

You can never promise there will not be a problem. He may be arrested but there is not evidence or he may not be found guilty for reason not to do with his job.

But are you talking about police or lawyers?

amillionyears Wed 30-Jan-13 21:43:29

So the police on here are saying that, as Mumsnetters, on the threads where a poster is pretty terrified of reporting a police partner to the police, that there will not be a problem?
The thread I am currently thinking of, her bil is a family court lawyer.

CwtchesAndCuddles Wed 30-Jan-13 21:38:28

My ex is a police officer - there were a few times in our marriage when I did consider calling the police but didn't because of the potential consequeces ie the difficulties it would have caused him in work, possible suspention or loss of job etc

For me calling the police would have meant there would be no going back or reconciliation - it would have been the end and very public and messy.

I never once considered that if I did report ex things would have been covered up.

The divorce rate is high in the police - the hours are bad, overtime and court always took priority over family events. Officers have to deal with terrible things and see things most of us don't - that stress is often brought home.

OP your thread title is very ill judged and you don't know what you are talking about!

Writehand Wed 30-Jan-13 21:36:12

There was a news report recently that said police officers abusing their position for sexual favours was the greatest corruption risk among the country's police officers. news.sky.com/story/1041784/police-officers-abuse-positions-for-sex

I knew someone it happened to. She'd been burgled, and this officer just kept on coming round with some lame excuse. Eventually he said something about how she or her DP could get into car problems legally if she wasn't 'nice' to him .. She was very freaked out, but he did stop when she told him she'd report him. She didn't, though, she was too worried they wouldn't believe her. She was just glad it had stopped.

Not that I think most police officers are like that. But we've had problems with bullying police officers. I once told one off. I walked up behind him while he was talking to my son in an appalling way: as if the poor lad was a hardened villain, when he's had nothing to do with the law. The officer hadn't realised I was there or that I was listening. I pointed out that I was a single parent bringing up 2 boys to be law-abiding men and that for him to speak to them as if they were criminal scum was no help.

I rang up the cop shop too & complained. That was after we had 3 visits looking for a runaway girl. They said they knew she must be at ours because one of my DSs was her boyfriend and we hid her in the attic. They knew this because, I was told, it was on their computer. I told them that firstly he hardly knew her and secondly we didn't have an attic. They changed their database and the problem stopped.

amillionyears Wed 30-Jan-13 21:35:36

MrsBW, was it for hitting a partner?

And, would you feel comfortable reporting your DH to his work colleagues?
Couldnt his colleagues look things up for him, even if he couldnt?

Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:31:45

The trouble is people seem to think individual police officers have all this power, either from a bad experience with the police or what they read in the papers. The reality is that police officers cannot 'make things go away'. Maybe in the past, and I mean many years ago this would have happened. Today it is very different.

There are departments that investigate police officers. Of course there will be officers that commit crimes, including domestic abuse, the same as any profession.

That article linked is about police I'm America. So not an accurate insight to british police. I don't know how different American police are to us so can't comment on it.

nefertarii Wed 30-Jan-13 21:27:31

If a police officer was convicted of dv they could loose their job and therefore access to information etc.

Lawyers, doctors etc would not. They could set up their own practice. They would not be struck off.

This is not an issue to do with the police, but to do with positions of power.

My dad (in the force for 31 years) would treat any of his friends or fellow officers exactly the same as anyone else committing dv. And he would still be horrified.

lovelyredwine Wed 30-Jan-13 21:26:12

I agree with purple2012. That's what would happen in our force too.

Your thread title is unfortunate.

ThingummyBob Wed 30-Jan-13 21:24:50

Surely the police must be one of the biggest employers in the country with forces, countys, divisions eand what not in the hundreds if not thousands.

It seems strange to lump them all together as one mass and make a statement like the op tbh.

Like saying a failing hospital with crap surgeons in (say) Dundee would mean that the doctors in a GPs in Cornwall are also crap iygwim?

confused

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 21:23:05
InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 21:22:15

Heres something just from google justasmallglass but I can't find the WA research thats somewhere about it.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 21:21:36

As there seem to be lots of police officers on this thread, I'd like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you for doing the job you do. I'm pretty much in awe of all of you!

Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:18:43

In my force if a police officer is reported for DV they are treated pretty much the same as anyone else. The only difference is that they may be taken to a custody centre away from where they serve. This is fir various reasons, not just for their 'rights' but also because it would be uncomfortable for their colleagues.

They would not have access to addresses/info etc. Everything is audited. So if anyone, either them or a colleague attempted to access information they would be quickly identified.

That said, domestic abuse is a power thing. The perpetrator would probably tell their spouse that they could access info/they wouldnt be believed/their mates would mean it wouldn't go anywhere. The spouse, especially if not in the force would believe it. Probably because of years of abuse including mental abuse.

Your thread title misleading though.

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