Advertisement

Why Training Is Not Improving the Police Response to Sexual Violence Against Women: A Glimpse into the ‘Black Box’ of Police Training

  • Elizabeth A. Stanko OBE
  • Katrin Hohl
Chapter

Abstract

After decades of research, HMIC inspection reports, enquiries, police reform and legal changes, a ‘justice gap’ remains in one of the most iconic crimes against women and girls. More rape and sexual assault victims come forward than ever; however, prosecution and conviction rates remain low. Time and again, analyses of the problem call for better training of police officers who investigate complaints and engage with victims of sexual violence. More and improved training is hoped to give officers better knowledge and understanding, and to effect changes in attitudes and behaviour towards victims of sexual violence committed against women and girls. In this chapter, we explore current challenges and barriers to effective police training on sexual violence. We reflect in particular on challenges of police-academic cooperation in producing police training and offer some conclusions on where to go from here.

References

  1. Angiolini, E. (2015). Report of the independent review into the investigation and prosecution of rape in London. London: CPS. Available at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/equality/vaw/dame_elish_angiolini_rape_review_2015.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  2. Bacon, M. (2014). Policing culture and the new policing context. In J. Brown (Ed.), The future of policing. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bowling, B. (2007). Fair and effective policing methods: Towards ‘good enough’ policing. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 8(1), 579–619.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, J., & Walklate, S. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook on sexual violence. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Chan, J. (1997). Changing police culture: Policing in a multicultural society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). (2016). Violence against women and girls. Crime report 2015–2016. Available at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/cps_vawg_report_2016.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  7. Davies, M. (2002). Male victims of sexual assault: A selective review of the literature and implications for support services. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7(3), 203–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2002). Training matters. London: Her Majesty’s Government. Available at: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/media/training-matters-20020101.pdf (Accessed 22 June 2017).
  9. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2014). Everyones business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse. Available at: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/improving-the-police-response-to-domestic-abuse.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  10. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2015). Increasingly everyones business: A progress report on the police response to domestic abuse. Available at: http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/increasingly-everyones-business-domestic-abuse-progress-report.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  11. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). (2017). Rape Monitoring Group. London: Her Majesty’s Government. Available at: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/about-us/working-with-others/rape-monitoring-group/ (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  12. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI). (2012). Forging the links: Rape investigation and prosecution. A joint inspection by HMCPSI and HMIC. London: HMCPSI and HMIC. Available at: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/media/forging-the-links-rape-investigation-and-prosecution-20120228.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  13. Hohl, K., & Stanko, E. (2015). Complaints of rape and the criminal justice system: Fresh evidence on the attrition problem in England and Wales. European Journal of Criminology, 12(3), 324–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Horvath, A., & Brown, J. (Eds.). (2009). Rape: Challenging contemporary thinking. Cullompton: Willan.Google Scholar
  15. Hoyle, C. (1998). Negotiating domestic violence: Police, criminal justice and victims. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jordan, J. (2008). Serial survivors: Women’s narratives of surviving rape. Annandale: The Federation Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kelly, L. (1988). Surviving sexual violence. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  18. Kelly, L. (2002). Routes to (in)justice: A research review on the reporting, investigation and prosecution of rape cases. London: Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.Google Scholar
  19. Kelly, L., Lovett, J., & Regan, L. (2005). A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases (Home Office Research Study No. 293). London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  20. Mugford, R., Corey, S., & Bennell, C. (2013). Improving police training from a cognitive load perspective. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 36(2), 312–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Neyroud, P. (2010). Review of police leadership and training. London: Home Office. Available at: www.gov.uk (Accessed 22 June 2017).
  22. Robinson, A., Pinchevsky, G., & Guthrie, J. (2016). A small constellation: Risk factors informing police perceptions of domestic abuse. Policing and Society, 28(2), 189–204.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2016.1151881.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stanko, E. (1985). Intimate intrusions: Women’s experience of male violence. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Stanko, B., & Williams, E. (2009). Reviewing rape and rape allegations in London: What are the vulnerabilities of the victims who report to the police? In A. Horvath & J. Brown (Eds.), Rape: Challenging contemporary thinking (pp. 207–228). Cullompton: Willan.Google Scholar
  25. Vigurs, C., Wire, J., Myhill, A., & Gough, D. (2016). Police initial responses to domestic abuse. London: College of Policing. Available at: http://whatworks.college.police.uk/Research/Documents/Police_initial_responses_domestic_abuse.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  26. Wheller, L., & Morris, J. (2010). Evidence reviews: What works in training, behaviour change and implementing guidance? London: NPIA. Available at: http://whatworks.college.police.uk/Research/Documents/What_Works_in_Training_and_Behaviour_change_REA.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).
  27. Williams, E., & Stanko, B. (2016). Researching sexual violence. In M. Brunger, S. Tong, & D. Martin (Eds.), Introduction to policing research: Taking lessons from practice (pp. 121–136). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Willis, J. (2013). Improving policing: What’s craft got to do with it? Washington, DC: Police Foundation.Google Scholar
  29. Willis, J., & Mastrofski, S. (2016). Improving policing by integrating craft and science: What can patrol officers teach us about good police work? Policing and Society, 28(1), 27–44.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2015.1135921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wire, J., & Myhill, A. (2016). Domestic abuse matters. Evaluation of first responder training. London: College of Policing. Available online: http://www.college.police.uk/News/Collegenews/Documents/Domestic_Abuse_Matters.pdf (Accessed 14 June 2017).

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Stanko OBE
    • 1
  • Katrin Hohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyCity, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations