Following receipt of a domestic violence report, the police carry out a number of tasks on a case-by-case basis.

Collection of information and evidence

In addition to taking protective measures, the police perform the following tasks to gather information and evidence concerning acts of violence:

  • inquiring about violence experienced by the victim (place, time and description of incidents), victim's perception of violence suffered and their needs in further procedure,
  • inquiring about family dynamics (description of family life, family relations, etc.),
  • interviews with persons who may have any information on the domestic violence case in question and on violent incidents involving the victim or the children,
  • collection of material evidence and examination of residence,
  • carrying out house and personal searches, seizure of items used for violent incidents, photographing visible injuries (with victim's consent), inquiring about medical attention received by the victim (physical injuries and psychological distress),
  • quick exitapprehension of the suspect and detention for up to 48 hours,
  • issuing a police restraining order,
  • photographing and fingerprinting the suspect and collecting a saliva sample from him for DNA profiling,
  • interrogation of the suspect,
  • filing criminal charges,
  • in severe cases bringing the suspect before an investigating judge, who decides on further steps to take and may order detention of the suspect.

The police may deprive a perpetrator of freedom if there is at least one additional reason for detention, namely:

  1. risk of flight (grounds to believe that the perpetrator might escape and avoid the procedure),
  2. risk that the perpetrator will destroy evidence of the criminal offence or influence witnesses,
  3. risk of reoffending (the perpetrator might complete an attempted criminal offence or commit another offence).

Cooperation with other agencies

On receipt of a report of domestic violence or of child sexual abuse or in cases where a child, a minor or a person deprived of contractual capacity is in danger, the police notify a local social work centre, which may conduct its own procedure in line with its statutory powers. Police officers attend team meetings held by social work centres to help victims and collect evidence.

The police also cooperate with healthcare services, counselling and psychotherapy centres, educational establishments (schools, preschools), non-governmental organisations, state prosecutor's offices, administrative units, and other agencies which can help victims in any way. 

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Domestic violence - police procedure