TIM DREW: Working together to tackle domestic abuse

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for Neighbourhood Watch, which is working with Crimestoppers to raise awareness of it and what its supporters and volunteers can do to help to prevent and report it.

In October last year, Neighbourhood Watch launched an online survey which resulted in 27,127 responses and resulted in an important source of information which it is sharing with Crimestoppers, the better to enable its members to offer guidance to victims.

Over the Christmas period, Sussex Police released a video on YouTube to raise awareness of the hidden victims of abuse, particularly children. These are often the silent victims who may not know where to turn for help.

Sussex Police has also invested in extra training and has recruited 250 volunteers from within its existing workforce to take on the role of domestic abuse mentors, to support and embed the learning. Domestic Abuse Matters training, which has been part-funded by the Sussex police and crime commissioner, is delivered by domestic abuse specialists and ex-police officers and assists officers to spot the warning signs when they are called out to a possible domestic abuse incident.

Specialist Safeguarding Investigations Unit (SIU) detectives also took a leading role last year in a new model for Operation Ribbon, the dedicated force response to reports of domestic abuse over Christmas. Working closely with front line responders, they provided dedicated expertise on investigations and safeguarding of victims.

In addition, SIU domestic abuse caseworkers, together with independent domestic violence advisors, carried out welfare visits to high risk victims to review safety plans, and provided safety equipment to newly identified victims.

The East Worthing Neighbourhood Panel will meet on Tuesday at the East Worthing Community Centre, and the Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel will meet next Thursday at the Ardington Hotel, Steyne Gardens – both meetings commencing at 6.30pm.