Training and pilot alarm scheme for victims as police focus on domestic abuse
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Hundreds of Bedfordshire Police officers and staff have undergone specialist domestic abuse training as the force renews its commitment to keeping victims safe.
Specialists from the SafeLives charity have delivered sessions to around 300 people in the force including call handlers and frontline officers, with further sessions planned in the new year.
It is one of a number of new initiatives in Bedfordshire to ensure the force is providing the best possible service to victims of domestic abuse as well as tackling perpetrators.
A pilot project is being launched to give alarms to domestic abuse victims, which will automatically notify the force’s control room.
These alarms will be rolled out where a domestic violence protection order is in place; a civil power which offers additional protections to those reporting domestic abuse while police carry out a criminal investigation.
The force’s former Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire has also co-authored a major new book which highlights best practice in terms of policing domestic abuse.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Laws, who oversees the force’s specialist Emerald domestic abuse team, said: “Everyone across our organisation is committed to playing their part in helping victims of domestic abuse and putting perpetrators behind bars.
“We know the enormous courage it can take for someone to come forward and report domestic abuse, after what can be a torrid ordeal which in some cases has gone on for weeks, months or even years.
“This training has helped ensure those crucial first responders, from those who pick up 999 calls to our officers who are first on the scene at incidents, know what to look out for and how they can help someone who makes that crucial first step.
“The training and these new alarms are all examples of the major focus we have as a force to ensure we are providing the best service we can to victims.”
The training by SafeLives will carry on into the new year, with champions to be appointed across the force to keep raising the profile of domestic abuse in different departments.
Former ACC Sebire’s book Policing Domestic Abuse: Risk, Policy, and Practice has been written alongside academics to combine the best practical examples of policing domestic abuse with the latest academic research.
"Domestic abuse is an awful crime which has a profound impact on individuals and families across the world," she said.
“I am very proud of the work we have pulled together in this book, after working 30 years in policing and spending much of my career dedicated to investigating domestic violence
“I believe this will be of use for anyone working or researching this crime type and wanting to improve the safety of those suffering from such abuse in our communities.”