Research on police officers and candidates for police work attitude towards domestic violence.

This research was heldby Latvian State police Psychology group senior inspector Tatjana Grishkina (Psych.Mg.). Research participants werepolice officers and candidates for the work in police force(together 120 people). Within the research respondents were offered a description of domestic violence situation, where 2 police officers arrived at home, where was conflict between husband and wife. Respondents were askedto analyse concrete actions of police officers and evaluate how correct was their dealingwith domestic violence. The participantswere divided into 2 groups (60 participants, who have experience in police work or have studied police work,and 60 participants, who have neither experience nor education in police field). Their answerswere evaluated in both quantitative and qualitative ways. The resultsofthis research show that a great part of respondents havea lot of stereotypes about domestic violence. There were not found significantdifferences in attitude towards domestic violence between two groups of respondents. Police officers lack concrete strategies ofmakinginterventions in domestic violence situations, usually theyfeel helplessand think that these situations are unresolvable or are in other specialists (for example, psychologists) field of competences. Often police officers don’t understand the risks of domestic violence, they argue that such kinds of situations are not so important and police should work with more severe crime. The research results are consistent with other research (for example, in Lithuanian police). The research results recommend to pay more attention on police officers’ training and raising their awareness about important domestic violence aspects. Police organizationshould develop united strategiesof resolving domestic violence situations, for example teach police officers to evaluate risk factors in thesesituations, collaborate with other institutions and inform the involved people about additional help and safety at home. Also police officers should be provided withsupervisions, where they could analyseconcrete situations, specially themost difficultcases.