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Policing a new domestic abuse crime: effects of force-wide training on arrests for coercive control

Brennan, Iain; Myhill, Andy; Tagliaferri, Giulia; Tapley, Jacki


Andy Myhill

Giulia Tagliaferri

Jacki Tapley


Following a pre-registered study design, we estimated the effect of police force-wide domestic abuse training on arrests for the new crime of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’. Using data on monthly counts of arrest for controlling or coercive behaviour in 33 police forces, we performed a negative binomial difference-in-difference analysis and capitalised on differences in intervention timing to undertake an event study. Training was associated with a 41% increase in arrest for controlling or coercive behaviour for trained forces (IRR 1.413, 95% CI 1.235–1.617) and the increase in arrests was consistent with the timing of the training. This study provides evidence that training entire police forces to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse, including the new offence of coercive control, is effective in increasing the rate of arrest for coercive control. However, the number of coercive control arrests as a proportion of total domestic abuse arrests remains miniscule.


Brennan, I., Myhill, A., Tagliaferri, G., & Tapley, J. (2021). Policing a new domestic abuse crime: effects of force-wide training on arrests for coercive control. Policing and Society, 31(10), 1153-1167.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 7, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2021
Publication Date Jan 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2022
Journal Policing and Society
Print ISSN 1043-9463
Electronic ISSN 1477-2728
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 10
Pages 1153-1167
Keywords Coercive control; Difference-in-differences; Domestic abuse; Event study; Police training
Public URL
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Article (385 Kb)

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©2020 The authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder

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