Hampshire police should be ashamed of themselves

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Well done Hampshire Constabulary. Its officers are rated ‘good’ when it comes to tackling serious and organised crime.

Good news for them and bad for professional villains.

But that’s at what some might perceive as being the ‘glamorous’ end of policing.

What about the other end – the truly grim end which has much more of a direct impact on many more people’s lives – that of domestic abuse?

As we report today, the answer is shocking and the force should hang its collective head in shame.

Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, does not mince her words when she lays into the force over the way officers treat victims of this dreadful crime.

She says she has ‘deep concerns’ about the constabulary’s behaviour in this area.

She says she finds it ‘inexplicable and unacceptable’ that approaching two-thirds of investigations into domestic abuse do not progress in Hampshire Constabulary because it is said that the ‘victim does not support police action’ – this is far below the figure in many other forces.’

What is so lamentable is that, almost three years ago to the day Ms Billingham condemned the entire police service for treating domestic abuse as ‘a poor relation’ to other police activity, she concluded that only eight out of 43 forces responded well to domestic violence.

So depressing was that report that the then home secretary Theresa May took personal charge of the way police would respond to domestic abuse.

It would appear that, in Hampshire, no-one from the chief constable down has done anything to make life one iota better for those who report mental or physical violence within the home.

Hampshire police should be ashamed.