Police vow to support domestic violence victims and and take firm action against abusers
Cleveland Police has issued a new pledge to support victims of domestic abuse.
The Cleveland Police Victim’s Charter has been developed during working between the force, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Domestic Abuse Partnerships.
It sets out how officers will support and assist victims of domestic abuse by launching a set of minimum service standards and summarises what victims should expect from during the investigation and any proceedings.
Police hope the charter will encourage more victims to come forward and reassure them that their allegations will be treated seriously.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “When victims take the brave step to report domestic abuse to the police, it’s essential that they feel like they are being believed and supported throughout the process.
“The development of the Victim’s Charter sets out exactly what a victim should expect from the force and I’ll be monitoring how well it is being met throughout the next few months.”
Chief Inspector Helen Barker, head of the protecting vulnerable people unit, added: “Continuing to improve the response we provide to victims of domestic abuse is crucial in enabling them to have the confidence to report matters to us.
“Our Victim’s Charter will provide them with the reassurance that they will be dealt with in a sensitive manner and I am hopeful that it will encourage more victims to come forward and report so we can ensure they feel safeguarded.”
The charter includes undertakings that ‘Our first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and your children’, ‘We take domestic abuse very seriously and will deal promptly with any incident reported’ and ‘We aim to contact you within 24 hours of receiving your report and will help define what the best course of action for you is.’
It promises anyone coming forward ‘will be recognised and treated in a dignified, respectful, sensitive and professional non-discriminatory way’ and dealt with ‘without prejudice and in confidence.’
And it pledges ‘the police will ensure that all possible lines of enquiry are rigorously pursued and all available evidence is secured’, that victims will be ‘looked after by trained and experienced officers who can offer practical advice and support’, and that any necessary medical aid will be provided, as well as a safe place for victims and their children.
And it pledges to take ‘firm and positive action’ against abusers.