PCC welcomes proactive police work to deal with domestic abuse over Christmas

19/12/2014

Police in Sussex have a pre-Christmas surprise for more than 40 people who have records for repeated domestic abuse of partners.

They are all receiving visits from officers in plain clothes, working with Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), and will be told that during the holiday period police will be paying particular attention to any incidents reported as involving them, and will take robust action wherever possible, including arrest, issue of Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPOs), and recall to prison.

They will also be given contact details for a charity that specialises in advising perpetrators.

Meanwhile officers and IDVAs will also be visiting more than 150 people who have been repeatedly victims, or who have been reluctant to engage with police following incidents.

And starting on Friday 19 December dedicated patrols will be responding to reports of domestic abuse over the Christmas and New Year period, with officers equipped with body-worn video cameras to help secure vital evidence, as part of the force’s year-round campaign to encourage reporting of such incidents.

Every evening over the Christmas period teams of uniformed officers will work dedicated shifts to attend incidents of domestic abuse as a priority over all other types of policing incidents.

Officers working on Operation Ribbon (formerly known as Operation Cranberry) will also be kept up to date by intelligence briefings about the victims who may be particularly vulnerable, and about the specific offenders who may pose a higher risk.

In addition, teams of specialist detectives and investigators will carry out follow-up investigations into domestic abuse crimes, aiming to get them to court as swiftly as possible.

Domestic abuse is always treated as a priority by the force, but due to the regular increase in incidents throughout the festive season it is vital that there are sufficient resources available to manage and respond to calls for urgent help.

The increase over the holiday period is often down to higher alcohol consumption, combined with families spending more time than usual with each other. Relationships which are potentially abusive can come to a head at this time.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said; “All too often the onus is put on the victim to report and so I fully support the preventative work that Sussex Police is doing during the holiday period in order to protect the vulnerable in our society. I hope that by visiting those who are known to the authorities for abusing their partners that innocent people will be able to enjoy a peaceful and happy festive time.

“Once again, I am extremely grateful to the officers and staff who work these long shifts and help those victims who have the courage to contact Sussex Police and seek help.”

Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell, Head of Safeguarding and Investigations, said: “At Christmas and the New Year generally we have seen a rise in reports of domestic abuse. This may be due to excessive alcohol consumption, people spending more time at home, or financial pressures, but whatever the reason there are no excuses. There may be only one chance when people reach out to us, so we aim to ensure that we always put the needs of the victim first, to help people with rebuilding their lives.

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