Victims of domestic abuse will now be provided with an enhanced response, additional support and safeguarding through a dedicated Domestic Abuse Hub.
Tackling domestic abuse is a force priority and Kent Police is constantly seeking new ways to ensure victims receive the best possible service. The Domestic Abuse Hub, being launched today (Wednesday 18 May 2022), will provide innovative support for victims using video technology to virtually respond to specific calls. This will enable victims to immediately speak with an officer via video, enabling 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 a completely 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. This 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 highly motivated Proactive Domestic Abuse teams who will be working to identify, target and relentlessly 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.
The concept of 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 and providing a first-class service.
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.’
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, or social background.
If you are suffering from physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse, or are being threatened, intimidated or stalked by a current or previous partner or close family member, it is likely you are a victim of domestic abuse.
You are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone.
You can report it to us or, if you are not ready to speak to the police, you can contact support organisations who will help you.