Better support promised for 11K annual victims of domestic abuse in Warwickshire

  Posted: 16.11.21 at 10:08 by David Lawrence - Local Democracy Reporter

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Better support for victims of domestic abuse across Warwickshire will be available according to the county’s leading police chief.

Debbie Tedds, who was appointed chief constable of Warwickshire Police in the summer, was responding to figures which showed more than 1,000 cases had been reported for five consecutive months since May and that more than 11,000 cases are tackled by Warwickshire Police every year.

She told this week’s meeting of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel: “Domestic abuse is one of those horrendous crimes where we need to constantly encourage victims to report early.

“It is fair to say it has been fairly difficult, particularly through the Covid pandemic, to keep victims and witnesses on board through the criminal justice processes – we do have to acknowledge that victims will often contact us at a time of crisis and then, when you start putting measures in place to support victims, they sometimes don’t want to continue with that journey for a variety of reasons.

“There are times when we do take criminal proceedings against the wishes of a victim depending on the severity and threat levels involved and the vulnerability.

“The figures are not ones we are seeking to celebrate – we want to support victims more and get them through the criminal justice process.”

In his draft Warwickshire Police and Crime Plan 2021-25, police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “The new Domestic Abuse Act gives additional powers to the police and I will ensure they are used effectively to bring meaningful consequences for perpetrators.

“I will hold Warwickshire Police to account in making effective use of domestic abuse protection notices, domestic abuse protection orders and restraining orders to ensure that victims are properly safeguarded.

“To prevent re-victimisation I will also seek to fund high-quality programmes that educate and divert perpetrators from their violent and abusive behaviour, while I will continue to fund and co-commission high-quality support services for victims of domestic abuse. This ensures an holistic approach to domestic abuse that has victims and survivors at the centre.”

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