Cost-cutting new police guidelines on identifying victims of domestic violence could see deaths soar, charities warned today.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is piloting a new approach to call-outs in a bid to cut paperwork.
The first phase of the trial allows officers to only assess risk of domestic violence in repeat incidences.
The second phase gives complete discretion to police as to whether they fill out a Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour-based-violence form or not.
But abuse charity Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (Caada) warned that domestic violence deaths will soar if the new guidelines are rolled out as compulsory interviews with potential victims will no longer have to be carried out.
Caada chief executive Diana Barran said: "If we are to save lives and public money it is important that risk identification of victims is implemented consistently and thoroughly by all agencies."
She added that "no amount of training" could enable a police officer to understand whether a victim is experiencing a dangerous relationship simply by "turning up at the door."
Caada, along with Women's Aid, Welsh Women's Aid, Rights of Women, AVA, Imkaan and other organisations, has written to Acpo voicing its concerns.
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims, Acpo's lead on reducing bureaucracy, said: "This trial puts the emphasis on officers listening, understanding, assessing and making proportionate decisions rather than filling in forms.
"The police service responds to lots of domestic calls, we need to empower our front-line officers to use their skills and professional judgement to comprehensively investigate and decide how to respond."