Step 4: Implement systematic police training and capacity development

In order to ensure that the police have the appropriate knowledge, skills and capacity to effectively implement risk assessment, it is necessary to ensure that:

  • basic training to develop knowledge and awareness of gender equality is mandatory for all police, begins at entry level (police academies) and is continued through all levels and stages of police careers;
  • training for all police on intimate partner violence is regular, updated and embedded in institutional policy on police learning and development;
  • training in the use of force-approved risk assessment tools should be mandatory for all those carrying out risk identification and assessment, including first responders;
  • police training is accompanied and reinforced through effective supervision and performance management mechanisms and police evaluation includes gender components (on monitoring and evaluating risk assessment practices and outcomes, see Step 7);
  • police training is embedded in multiagency cooperation frameworks and supported by comprehensive protocols and guidelines to promote a consistent and uniform approach to victim safety and perpetrator accountability (on embedding police risk assessment in a multiagency framework, see Step 5). Police leadership considers setting up specialised teams of police officers or police units with specialised knowledge and expertise on both gender-based violence and risk assessment for intimate partner violence (depending on the national context).

Assessing the level of risk in cases of intimate partner violence is often a complicated process that requires specific training for police to provide them with the skills and knowledge to enable them to understand and properly identify, assess and manage risk. The professional judgement of a trained practitioner is a crucial element of effective police risk assessment (on identifying the most appropriate approach to police risk assessment, see Step 2).

The police should adopt a systematic approach to training. Training packages should be embedded within a performance management infrastructure, which helps to ensure that each police officer successfully completes the required training and that their performance reviews take into account how they respond to intimate partner violence accordingly (on monitoring and evaluating risk assessment practices and outcomes, see Step 7).