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Northumbria introduces domestic abuse specialists to control rooms

Northumbria PCC Kim McGuinness has funded the scheme.

Domestic abuse specialists from North East services Wearside Women in Need and Harbour will now sit in control rooms in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear to help support victims.

The specialists will be available during identified peak times- primarily busy week nights.

They are there to assist in the key moment once the victim has taken the first step to report an incident to the police.

The specialists will then be able to advise the caller on the best support options moving forward.

On average, Northumbria receives 70 reports of domestic abuse per day – a number which increases during the holidays.

Supt Lisa Laverick, from Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, said: “Protecting people who are vulnerable is our number one priority and this includes victims of domestic abuse.

“This initiative builds on the work already underway with partners to further help ensure victims receive the support they need.

“I would urge anyone who has been subjected to such abuse to come forward – we are here for you.

“As well as supporting and safeguarding victims, we are absolutely committed to pursuing offenders and bringing them to justice.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We have to protect the vulnerable and we know that the sooner a victim engages with specialist support services they are more likely to get the help they need. Having these specialists on hand supporting our police means we can seize the opportunity right from the off, at their moment of crisis, and by having that early intervention, we can stop things escalating.

“The more joined up we make the response when people reach out, the better, and the more likely they are to call the police in future if needed – that’s what we want. Anything that increases the chance of a victim taking up specialist support is worth doing and this can really improve lives for both victims and their children.”

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