Domestic abuse inquiry findings welcomed by police

By Barrie Hudson - 23 June 2021


Wiltshire Police has welcomed a report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

It addresses with the way in which forces across the country dealt with domestic abuse during the pandemic.

The reviews police work between July and November of last year, and its overall conclusion is that all police forces were proactive in their work to help protect victims but more work needs to be done longer-term around domestic abuse reporting and the processing of cases. 
The Wiltshire force says that, working with stakeholders, it carried out several domestic abuse campaigns using traditional means such as radio, TV and newspapers together with social media, highlighting the support available to victims facing domestic abuse as well as advice on how to report such incidents. 

Examples included an advertising poster campaign on buses, radio advertising and the use of on-line live chats where people were encouraged to discuss the issue with a panel of police and stakeholder experts. 
The force also supported the Home Office's #Youarenotalone social media campaign, encouraging victims to report offences, and the Ask for Ani campaign - where victims can seek help at a local pharmacy - safe space - using the ANI codeword. 
Detective Superintendent Ben Mant, Head of Wiltshire Police's Public Protection Department, said: "Policing the crime of domestic abuse during this pandemic has been very challenging. 
"We recognised that during the lockdowns victims were at greater risk, but that didn't stop us trying to protect those in possible danger - proactively working with all our partners across the county to help victims. 
"Despite the majority of lockdown restrictions easing this summer our work doesn't stop.  
"At a time of the year when domestic abuse incidents often increase, especially during the hot weather, summer holidays and football tournaments, we will continue to be proactive in offering help to victims as well as to perpetrators to attempt to protect and reduce this crime.  
"Domestic Abuse is approximately 15 percent of all our business, which is in line with the national average.  That's 15 percent too much.  One victim is too much.   
"We take on board the report's recommendations and recognise that more work needs to be done.  
"Our latest advertising campaign, this time aimed at perpetrators, is just one way we are continuing our work with other partners to try to improve our service to those victims, their children, who are often caught up in the abusive scenario, and those who do the abusing. 
"Together with other agencies like the Criminal Justice Department, courts, OPCC and our charity partners, I believe we can continue to get better at helping all involved." 
People with concerns are encouraged to contact the police on 101 - or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, people in Swindon can contact Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service by calling 01793 610610 and those in Wiltshire can contact the Splitz Support Service on 01225 775276. 


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