Warwickshire Police reassure communities of its commitment to supporting victims of domestic abuse
Main article content
Supporting victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice is a key priority for Warwickshire Police, this is the clear message the force is giving local communities today.
Deputy Chief Constable Richard Moore said: “Following some recent reports on social media, the force is keen to reiterate its full commitment to tackling domestic abuse, with a dedicated Domestic Abuse Unit at the heart of our operational response.
“Contrary to some reports, the force is strengthening this unit during the coming months by posting ten police officers into this department to work alongside existing detectives. This will ensure the Domestic Abuse Unit will include a greater number of police officers, all equipped with warranted powers to investigate and arrest offenders alongside providing support to victims of domestic abuse. Regrettably to enable these changes we will see the reduction of a small number of police staff posts within this team.
“Now more so than ever, during the current health pandemic, we know that there may be many victims suffering in silence in their own homes. We continue to work closely with all our partners to do whatever we can to protect victims from the physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse they may be experiencing.”
He added: “The change we are making to enhance our Domestic Abuse Unit is just one of a number of changes the force is making to develop our operational capabilities to ensure we deliver on our strategic priorities and protect people from harm.
“These changes maximise the use of our increasing police officer numbers in specialist units, such as within our dedicated child abuse, trafficking and exploitation team.
“Domestic abuse will always be one of the force’s highest priorities and these changes will continue to enhance our services to the public.”
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is categorised by any incident or patters of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, irrespective of gender, age sexuality or ethnicity.
This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Who to call
If you have been a victim of domestic abuse you can call police on 101 or make a report via the Warwickshire Police website https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
If you feel threatened or a crime is in progress call 999.
If you don’t want to contact police, you can also get support and information from Refuge – Warwickshire’s Domestic Violence Service on 0800 408 1552 (8.30am – 8.30pm Monday to Friday; 10am-4pm on Saturday).
• Warwickshire Police
• Family Intervention Counselling service
• Citizen Advice in Warwickshire provides free and impartial advice and can help you find a local solicitor or help you to claim benefits
• The force is continuing to encourage people who are victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.
• The ongoing restrictions necessary to combat CoVID-19 mean some people may feel trapped in their homes with an abuser and isolated from support as well as from their friends and family.
• We recognise the government order may prove to be additionally challenging for those in violent and abusive relationships while people who have not previously been victims could also find themselves subject to domestic abuse, which could lead to a rise in the number of cases reported nationally.
• Although, we have not seen such a rise within our force area, we recognise that one incident of domestic abuse is one too many and want to remind victims they are not alone.
• Social distancing rules do not prevent someone who is experiencing or at risk of being abused from leaving their home and seeking help, particularly if they are in danger.
• Refuges and safe places remain open and we will provide support to all individuals being abused.
• Refuge – Warwickshire’s Domestic Violence Service – provides support and advice to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire.
• They can be reached by calling 0800 408 1552 or emailing [email protected] but always call 999 in an emergency.
Our force is committed to tackling domestic abuse and our officers are continuing to be proactive every day by arresting perpetrators and supporting victims.
As part of our ongoing work, we are also encouraging people to speak out if they suspect people they know may be a victim of domestic abuse.