People suffering domestic abuse will now be provided with an enhanced response, additional support and safeguarding through a dedicated Kent Police Domestic Abuse Hub.
The Domestic Abuse Hub, being launched today (Wednesday 18 May), will provide innovative support for victims using video technology to virtually respond to specific calls. This will mean victims can immediately speak with an officer via video, resulting in fast-time crime recording, statement taking and capture of evidence including the scene of the incident and any visible injuries.
By having instant contact with a victim an officer can also implement immediate safeguarding and referrals to partner agencies to provide protection to vulnerable people.
This is an optional service for victims and is not a replacement for a traditional call back or officer visit. Officers will always attend an incident or victim when needed. Kent Police say the method has been independently tested in a controlled trial with over 500 cases, which found very positive results for victims.
The Domestic Abuse Hub will also be supported by Proactive Domestic Abuse teams who will be working to identify, target and pursue domestic abuse offenders. They are focused on those who pose the greatest harm and bringing them to justice, whilst also supporting those who are repeatedly targeted.
A new Domestic Abuse Liaison Officer (DALO) role is also being piloted in Medway, and will be assessed fully before further roll-out across Kent is considered. These officers will provide consistent and coordinated support to safeguard victims most at risk, responding swiftly to incidents to secure vital evidence.
Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Price said: “In 2021, the force control room received over 40,000 calls relating to domestic abuse but we are also aware that this crime type is under-reported.
“Our key priority has always been on protecting the most vulnerable members of society and tackling domestic abuse. By making these changes, officers can respond swiftly, robustly and compassionately to any reports of domestic abuse.
“There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances, and I urge victims to come forward, confident in the knowledge they will receive the best possible service from Kent Police.”
Reports in Thanet
Last year Thanet councillors were told by Chief Inspector Rhiannan Pepper that the isle has the highest rates of reported domestic violence in Kent – excluding Medway- with 4,369 recorded crimes in the 2020-2021 year (March-February). This was a rise of 11.8% rise over a three-year time period.
Of the 4369 recorded reports of domestic abuse in 2020-21, there were 1,836 arrests – a 30% rise across 2018-21.
But the number of charges brought was just 278 – although this was more than double the 130 charges brought in 2019-20,
The majority of cases – consistently between 72-76% – involve partners or ex partners.
Thanet has a disproportionate number of repeat victims, particularly for 6-10 reports – in 2020-21 involving 78 victims – and over 10 reports involving 17 victims.
If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there’s an emergency that’s ongoing or life is in danger, call 999 now.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the textphone service 18000 or text 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
Other ways to report:
by calling 101 (If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service on 18001 101)
in the safety of your local police station (if you require a translator, we can provide someone initially by phone and later in person)
Find help information from Oasis Domestic Abuse service at http://www.oasisdaservice.org/get-help-now and click the ‘exit now’ button to erase all traces from your Internet history.
Call Kent Domestic Abuse Services Victim Support on 0808 168 9276
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run by Refuge and offers free, confidential support 24 hours a day to victims and those who are worried about friends and loved ones. Telephone: 0808 2000 247
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.
Call 0808 801 0327.