The other day I reported a DV incident I had witnessed. I can't tell you about it as I will be giving evidence in court. A PC from the specialist team came over to take my statement - and she was FANTASTIC!
She was clued-up on the intricacies of relationship abuse, knew all the Freedom Programme, and was highly sympathetic to the issues leading victims to stay with abusers. She really cared about the victim and is doing what she can to support her.
I've kept up to speed with changes in the law, and in police training, in this area. But I'll admit I was sceptical about the effectiveness of such changes until this meeting. Ours is not a large or well-funded county, so there's no reason to think it has exceptional provision for specialist policing - this wonderful officer must be fairly typical, I should think.
I decided to post this now because there are a couple of current threads where posters are doubtful about calling the police and have been advised not to by friends & family. That's insanity. Not only can the police get you some precious time while your abuser's in the station, they can fast-track you to support services as needed. Ask to speak to someone from the Domestic Abuse Team, and believe that they will understand.
Echo what Garlick said; reported my ex-DP abusive tosspot for the first time, and couldn't have been more impressed by how well they supported me. Completely changed my perception of the police, and would not hesitate for a minute to contact them again (although I'm hoping I'll never have a need to now). May not reflect everyone's experiences, but it's good to know there are good ones out there who really do want to help. PC told me DV is very frustrating from their p.o.v, they want to do a lot more but can't as matters often end up in the courts etc anyway.
The things is historically domestic abuse was 'just a domestic' so people are still thinking that it is like that and are surprised when they realise it isn't. I still get calls saying I know you can't do anything as it is only a domestic but... I hen have to explain it isn't like the old days and we can and will help.
I am really glad that you have had a positive experience.
I had amazing support from the police when I reported my ex. They made me feel believed and I felt safer after speaking to them. At ever step of the court proceedings the female PC handling the case phoned me so I was always up todate. And even now the court case is over (apart from sentencing) they have still be there and have put me in touch with a few charitable groups that can help me and my children with counselling.