Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Changes to how police deal with domestic violence reports

12:51 05 March 2014

Essex Police has changed how it deals with domestic violence reports

Essex Police has changed how it deals with domestic violence reports

Archant

An MP has welcomed a change in how Essex Police deals with calls reporting domestic violence.

shares

Officers have met with victims, both male and female, to learn more about the service they received and how it could be improved.

And one of the outcomes of the work so far has been to launch a special freephone domestic abuse telephone number for victims.

Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, said the free phone line is an “extremely good idea”.

“It can come as a shock but there is domestic violence all around us and it’s hidden. It is not just something that happens in broken homes or in bad areas,” he added. “Domestic violence affects every strata of society, rich or poor alike.

“Very often it’s women and children that need to be encouraged to ask for help.

“There’s a terrible stigma that victims of domestic violence feel it’s their fault and they are responsible for provoking the violence and this isn’t true.

“Anybody subjected to domestic violence doesn’t need to put up with it.”

Figures from last year revealed more than 3,600 offences were recorded between April and September.

Claire Heath, head of customer service for Essex Police, said: “What we wanted to find out was what worked well, how police involvement made victims feel and how we, and our partners in Essex, could improve.

“It has been very much about giving victims a voice in the way we approach domestic abuse incidents so we can tailor our response accordingly.

“We wanted to learn and understand how we can improve their confidence in us as a service and how we can shape future services to give them the support that they need from the first point of contact right through to the end of the court process, if necessary.”

Mrs Heath said many victims had asked for a freephone number so they could call and get updates on the progress of their case without incurring a charge.

The force has also changed the way it handles calls to make sure that victims are not asked unnecessary questions when they make contact.

She added: “Policing often requires a lot of paperwork to make sure we gather all the necessary information about an incident but we have recognised that when a victim first calls us that is not always the best time to get all of this detail.

“We have also taken on board the need for victims to have a dedicated point of contact to help build trust and continuity. We have committed to providing one dedicated named point of contact, who will provide victims with updates, guidance and advice.

“We then aim to follow this through from the first point of contact, during an investigation and any subsequent court hearing.

“One of the other major innovations we are also carrying out is to work together with other agencies to keep victims and their families safe. This can cover everything from providing emergency accommodation, to finding a new home and looking at education options for children.”

The freephone number is 0800 358 0351.

shares

0 comments

Police are investigating

Essex Police are investigating after silver-plated cutlery and an imitation Rolex watch were stolen from the house in Fennes Road.

The scene of the collision on the A1088 at Honington.

Dr Ronak Patel, aged 33 of Ixworth, died following a collision between a lorry and the Volkswagen Golf he was driving this morning.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A dishonest driver has admitted filling up with petrol on 14 occasions at garages across Suffolk and Essex but failing to pay for his fuel.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

The scene after a raid at the Costcutter supermarket in Woolpit.

Crooks used a stolen JCB Digger to smash into a supermarket and steal a cash machine thought to have contained thousands of pounds in a ram raid in Suffolk.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A Mothercare shop worker had admitted stealing childcare and maternity items worth nearly £12,500 and selling a stolen pushchair to a police officer.

Ipswich Crown Court

A robber who broke into an Ipswich flat before threatening the occupant with a kitchen knife has been jailed.

Hare coursing (stock photo)

Four men and a teenage boy arrested in connection with hare coursing in Suffolk have been charged, police have said.

Wayne Leech and Mark Ripper with soap star Gemma Atkinson at the Slimming World Man of the Year awards

Two Suffolk men have shed a total of more than 21st in little over a year – and been named among the country’s top male slimmers for 2015.

Rural crime has been falling in Suffolk and across East Anglia.

New figures show a significant fall in the level of rural crime across the region – but there are significant differences between Suffolk and Essex.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages