Police hail race hate crackdown

POLICE action to crackdown on domestic violence and hate crime in Essex is proving a “great success” with scores of victims coming forward. The force launched a network of Domestic Violence and Hate Crime Units (DVHCUs) a month ago to target attacks or discrimination inspired by race, sexuality, disability, age, religion or gender.

By Juliette Maxam

POLICE action to crackdown on domestic violence and hate crime in Essex is proving a “great success” with scores of victims coming forward.

The force launched a network of Domestic Violence and Hate Crime Units (DVHCUs) a month ago to target attacks or discrimination inspired by race, sexuality, disability, age, religion or gender.

The units were set up in the county's nine main towns - Braintree, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Basildon, Grays, Harlow, Rayleigh and Southend.


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Last night , Essex Police Authority chairman Robert Chambers said the new units had been a “great success” since their launch.

“By having set up these units, it has encouraged wives and, indeed in some cases husbands, to come forward with the problems they have,” he said.

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“If they can sort out their problems before they get too bad, we're saving major cases where the husband or wife decide they've had enough.”

The unit covering the Braintree police division, revealed it has made 47 arrests since it was established in July, before the official launch of the network, with a further 16 cases currently on the investigation action list.

Excluding six cases where bail has been given for further inquiries, the figures show a detection rate of 85%.

The Braintree unit, based at Feering Police Station, is headed by Inspector Cheryl Callow and includes a sergeant and seven constables.

Unit supervisor Sergeant Sue Watson said: “An effective start has been made and the public can draw reassurance from the fact that dedicated investigators are on hand to concentrate on conducting thorough investigations into offences which cause considerable suffering.”

Of the 47 cases concluded or nearing completion, all but three involved domestic violence.

Six investigations resulted in no further action being taken, a police caution was given to two offenders and in one case the defendant was bound over to keep the peace. The remaining 38 cases are all expected to go to court.

When the new units were launched, the Criminal Justice Board produced a series of leaflets, posters and other educational tools to bring the new units to the attention of those people who may need their help.

Police chiefs said the units were intended to encourage and support victims as well as bringing offenders to justice.

As well as contacting their DVHCUs by telephoning their local police station, victims can also report their ordeal to www.report-it.org.uk.

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