Volunteers will speak to domestic abuse victims

DOMESTIC violence support workers are volunteering their time over the festive period to accompany police officers to calls of domestic abuse in Hampshire.

A volunteer will accompany police officers in a police vehicle and will speak to domestic abuse victims – with their consent – at the same time as an incident is reported.

The Police and Crime Commis-sioner for Hampshire has provided funding for this initiative to be rolled out for five nights over a two-week period encompassing Christmas and New Year in seven cars working across Hampshire between 6pm and 2am.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said: “I am delighted to fund this initiative over the Christmas period, but it is equally important to me that we have improved and consistent provision at all other times throughout the year.

“That is why, following my recent domestic abuse conference, a number of initiatives have been identified, and I am now committed to setting up a multi-agency commissioning group, along with a small workshop group, to determine what, where and how to commission PCC investment to best support victims of domestic abuse.

“Further work will involve close liaison with the constabulary to improve outcomes for both victims and offenders through rehabilitation, and establishing an on-going PCC ‘Victims Voice’ forum for those affected by domestic abuse to tell us exactly what is really happening.”

Superintendent Ben Snuggs said: “Unfortunately, during the festive period, the number of calls we receive from victims of domestic abuse rises, and it is important that we have the resources available to deal with this.”

Hampshire Constabulary and the Police and Crime Commissioner are running the Speak Out Today campaign across the Christmas and New Year period to encourage victims, perpetrators, friends and family to report any incidents of domestic abuse.

Domestic incidents are the only identified incident type that shows a significantly higher level of reporting in the run-up to Christmas compared to a period earlier in Decem-ber.

On average over the past six years, 20 per cent more domestic incidents have been reported at this time of year than in a similar period earlier in the month.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call 101 to report it. In an emergency always call 999.

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