Domestic abuse specialists from Wearside Women In Need to offer support for victims in police control rooms
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The new initiative involves putting specialists from North East services Wearside Women in Need and Harbour into police control rooms to improve the service offered to victims of domestic abuse.
The service, which is funded by the PCC’s office, will benefit domestic victims across the whole of Tyne and Wear and Northumberland and is a first for Northumbria Police.
Designed to improve the overall victim experience, the new approach means specialists are now on hand to support victims during identified peak times – namely busy weekend nights.
The experienced domestic abuse service staff have teamed up with officers in the control room to assist at the key moment when the victim has taken the first step in reporting an incident to the police.
Northumbria Police receives on average 70 reports of domestic abuse per day, with numbers rising during the holidays.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We have to protect the vulnerable and we know that the sooner a victim engages with specialist support services they are more likely to get the help they need.
"Having these specialists on hand supporting our police means we can seize the opportunity right from the off, at their moment of crisis, and by having that early intervention, we can stop things escalating.”
Helen Slimin from Wearside Women in Need, said: “We are looking forward to being part of an innovative project with our partners which will support victims of Domestic Abuse, aiming to keep them and their children safe. It is an opportunity to offer advice and support at crisis point and we welcome the opportunity to do this.”
Lesley Gibson, Chief Executive of Harbour added: “We welcome closer partnership working between the specialist voluntary sector and the Police to get victims of domestic abuse the information and support they need when they need it. By working together we combine our skills and expertise and that will provide a better response for victims.”