DURHAM police have teamed up with Durham University academics to help improve the experiences of domestic abuse victims after they report a crime.

The focus of the research will be on the voice of the victim and the research will be used to design a new training programme which will be rolled out to officers across the force.

The partnership came about after a suggestion by Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, who said: "This underlines the commitment to the development of an evidence-based strategy for more effective police delivery.

“It is absolutely vital, in such a difficult and sensitive area of policing, and we are certain that it will lead to a much greater, enhanced service delivery for victims of domestic and sexual abuse."

Paul Goundry, the Constabulary lead for domestic abuse, said: "As a Force we seek to continuously improve how we respond to all reports made by the public and domestic abuse is no exception.

“We look forward to working with Durham University and to listening to the views of those we serve.

“We hope that the learning from this partnership will result in an improved response to domestic abuse."

National research indicates that as many as one in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime.