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Laws on police role in implementation

In order to effectively address violence against women, laws and national action plans should require the engagement of and coordination between multiple sectors and groups, both public and private. This section discusses measures specifically related to ensuring that the police and other law enforcement officials effectively implement laws on violence against women. The quality of police work is crucial for implementation. Acts of violence against women must be investigated thoroughly and documented precisely.

Laws on police role in implementation

Detailing the specific duties and roles of law enforcement officers in legislation can be an effective means of enhancing implementation of laws aimed at ending violence against women. Many countries include specific provisions related to police implementation in their laws. Often these provisions fall into four general categories:

  • Requiring coordination with other entities; [Internal link to CCR section above]
  • Mandating the creation of special units;
  • Requiring specialized training; and
  • Detailing specific procedures to be used in investigation.

For example, Albania’s law on Law on Measures against Violence in Family Relations contains several provisions that specifically relate to police, including:

  • Establishing “special units at the police departments to prevent and combat domestic violence” (Art. 7);
  • Requiring the Ministry of Interior to “train members of the police force to handle domestic violence cases” (Art. 7);
  • Requiring that police “record their findings in a written report and start investigations upon their own initiative (sua sponte)…The police gives the incident number to the victim” (Art. 8);
  • Requiring that police “take all necessary steps to ensure immediate and continuous implementation/execution of protection measures” (Art. 23).

Examples"

  • Bangladesh’s Acid-Offences Prevention Act of 2002, relating to honour crimes, specifies that police must “complete the investigation within thirty days from the date the information relating the offence [was] received or the Magistrate orders for investigation” or ask for a special extension. (Art. 11).
  • India’s law on sex trafficking mandates that special police officers be designated in each Indian state to specifically focus on trafficking crimes. (Art. 13).
  • Spain’s Organic Act 1/2004 of 28 December on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence requires the establishment of “dedicated units within the national law enforcement and security agencies specialising in the prevention of gender violence and supervising the enforcement of the legal measures adopted.” (Art. 31).

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