A two-day work visit was held on 24-25 January 2017 in London, as part of the project “Protasis – Police Training Skills”. The work visit was attended by representatives from each of the partner organizations, and aimed to acquire a first-hand information and experience by the UK police officers, obtaining insights on the benefits, challenges and obstacles of the system during their interactions with victims.
During the 2 day visit in the UK, the partners had the opportunity to discuss in person how an effective system of individual assessment and referral to appropriate services works in practice, complementing therefore their so far knowledge of the British system. A number of professionals with significant experience in relevant fields shared their expertise with the partners. The work visit consisted of the following sections:
- Introduction on the current status of the assessment and referral systems in UK, by Lena Parmar, Implementation Advisor, Office of the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales;
- Interactive seminar on individual assessment, by Nicky Phillipson, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Commissioning& Steve Welby, Head of Victim and Witness Hub, Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner;
- Interactive seminar on referral and signposting, by Ben Harris, Victims Services Commissioning Project & Service Delivery Officer, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner;
- Interactive seminar by specialized police officers and professionals on communication and interaction with victims with special needs (children, sexual-domestic violence), which included presentations and discussion with Tracy Foster, Service Manager,& Bryonie Shift, Children and Young People’s Coordinator, Peterborough Women’s Aid; Ben Lyon & Gabrielle Browne; Detective Sergeant Richard Isley& Detective Constable Becky Doyle, Cambridgeshire Police Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit.
The sharing of good practices will now be transferred into the pilot training of police officers in the partners’ countries, through a combination of evidence based and practical knowledge. The partnership will produce evidence-based training materials and handbook, which will be piloted during the training of at least a total of 210 police officers from Greece, Italy and Portugal.
The project aims to the capacity building and training of police officers, following 3 training modules focused on knowledge sharing, skills development, and creation of signposting and referral pathways for the victims when communicating with the Police. The project is especially focused on victims with special needs, such as victims of domestic and sexual abuse, and child victims.