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Commissioner funds high-tech alert 'device' to protect victims of domestic abuse

DCI Brittan and Alan Charles

DCI Brittan and Alan Charles

Victims of domestic abuse and stalking in Derbyshire are to receive increased protection from this month thanks to the roll-out of a new electronic device, it can be revealed.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has donated £60k towards the innovative project after successfully bidding for a share of the Ministry of Justice’s £12m fund to support victims’ services.

The new pioneering device will be issued to vulnerable people who are identified by police as being at serious risk of harm from domestic abuse or stalking/harassment. They will enable users to contact the emergency services covertly if they are in imminent danger thus triggering an immediate police response and will also ensure police can pinpoint the exact location of the victim. This means officers can even respond to attacks which take place outside of a domestic setting.

Commissioner Charles is determined to increase protection for vulnerable people at risk of abuse in the county and has already funded a series of prevention initiatives to expand support for survivors. As well as working hard to reduce the threat to victims, he is also collaborating with the City Council’s specialist domestic abuse team and other partners to integrate management processes so that survivors receive appropriate help at the earliest opportunity.

Commenting on the new investment, Commissioner Charles said: “There are many vulnerable people living in Derbyshire who face a daily threat of violence or abuse. These discreet devices will increase the safety of high-risk victims and provide some reassurance when they leave their homes that if an attack occurs, the emergency services can be contacted immediately – without their abuser knowing.

“Keeping domestic abuse victims safe is a top priority and this new system will provide survivors with a more efficient and effective response to their calls for help. The device not only offers practical help to its users by ensuring police can attend an incident quickly but it will also help the response officers to gather stronger evidence by arriving at a live scene.”

Detective Inspector Tony Brittan said: “This funding by the PCC will allow us to issue an increased number of personal safety devices to vulnerable people who require this support over the next three years in Derbyshire. Being able to support more victims of Domestic Abuse with personal safety devices is fantastic news for everyone. All agencies will continue to work tirelessly to protect people who suffer Domestic Abuse."

More than one million calls a year are received by UK police forces relating to domestic abuse. Almost 58,000 vulnerable people – the majority of them women – are believed to be at risk of serious harm or murder.

Currently, three women every fortnight are being killed by a partner or former partner while a third of all assaults recorded by the police are in connection with domestic abuse.

The roll out of the safety device, which is already being used by many UK police forces, comes after the successful introduction of a new law enabling police to disclose details of a partner’s abusive past to their potential victim.

Clare’s Law was introduced across all forces in England and Wales from March 2014 in an effort to prevent domestic violence and safeguard those at risk of abuse from a partner.

Within the first six months of its implementation, 86 people in Derbyshire were provided with information to protect them from a potentially abusive relationship. The figure is higher in Derbyshire than in the neighbouring counties of Nottinghamshire (66) and Leicestershire (46).

Ends

 

Media Enquiries:   Sallie Blair – 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

 

 

Posted on Tuesday 17th February 2015
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