Police combat domestic abuse

Those in 1066 Country with a record for domestic abuse had a pre-Christmas surprise from Sussex Police.

They are all received visits from officers in plain clothes, working with Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), and were 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.

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.

Starting from last Friday (December 19) 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 being 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.

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.

“We aim to ensure that we always put the needs of the victim first, to help people with rebuilding their lives.”