New initiative helping reduce domestic abuse is being rolled out

An initiative pairing families with a police support officer to reduce cases of domestic abuse is being rolled out across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 7:00 am
Victim and wellness support officer Debbie Wilson.

Operation Aegis, dedicated to preventing abuse and supporting and empowering victims, has been initially focused on Blyth Valley.

It sees households who have reported domestic incidents assigned a dedicated PC or PCSO.

The officer, aided by one of the force’s victim and wellness support officers, works with the family to understand issues and identify support networks, all while helping to stop abuse.

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Victim and wellness support officer Debbie Wilson said: “We are fiercely passionate and committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and that includes victims of domestic abuse.

“This initiative combines safeguarding victims and sign-posting families to wider support networks with an approach that sees victims designated an officer who they can continue to work with.

“This approach has been hugely successful in reducing domestic abuse within the addresses we have focused on.

“It results in fewer victims and reduced vulnerability.”

In the first cohort of 20 address police measured the amount of calls in the three months prior against the three months after the Aegis principles had been deployed and found a reduction of 60 incidents.

Neighbourhood Inspector Jon Caisley, who oversees the Blyth Valley area, said: “After a successful trial in the Blyth Valley area we are now rolling out this method across Northumberland and North Tyneside in the hopes we can continue to influence real change in the lives of people who need it most.

“Domestic abuse can affect anyone, there is no ‘standard’ victim and no matter who you are if you are suffering, the police are here for you.”

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse then report an incident by ringing 101 or visiting the police website.

In an emergency, always call 999. If you dial 999 and are unable to speak, the emergency operator will ask you to dial 55 and to follow their instruction to quickly put you in touch with police.

Anyone worried that their own behaviour may be harming a loved one should call the Respect Helpline 0808 8024040 or visit www.respectphoneline.org.uk