PCC John Campion is reassuring those who don’t feel safe at home, and are at risk of abuse, that if they speak up they will get help.
As the national lockdown continues, and we’re encouraged to stay at home, many people are feeling that they are being forced to spend it with those they are in fear of. However, the PCC, along with West Mercia Police, is reminding people that lockdown doesn’t mean enduring abuse because they feel they don’t have a choice.
To prevent situations escalating, people are being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to exercise and cool off if arguments are becoming common.
Support services and places of refuge are still very much available and they are advising people to speak up through their various channels so that, if needs be, they can be safely removed and taken to alternative accommodation.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I don’t want people to be suffering in silence and thinking that they have no option but to stay in lockdown with someone who is abusing them, be it physically or emotionally. There are services on-hand to help those that need it, and I have maintained my support and funding to ensure that the national emergency doesn’t halt the incredibly important work going on across West Mercia.
“I would also encourage friends, relatives and neighbours to be mindful of what may be happening behind closed doors. If you’re concerned about someone, your call could make a huge difference to someone’s safety. I am reassured that West Mercia Police is allocating resources appropriately to tackle this horrendous crime and protect those at risk, and I will continue to work with them to ensure that remains the case.”
Detective Superintendent Damian Pettit, Head of Vulnerability & Safeguarding, said: “Domestic abusers can intentionally isolate victims from help and support as part of their actions, and, during the current Covid-19 restrictions ,West Mercia Police are very aware that there may be victims who are even more restricted from seeking support due to following government advice to stay home.
“West Mercia Police continue to police 24hrs a day as normal and will respond positively to all reported domestic abuse to protect the victims and children who are abused or witness abuse. We will listen and work with the victim to help them to be safer, and hold abusers to account for their actions. A range of support agencies continue to offer online and telephone advice as well as offering refuge from abuse. I would urge anyone experiencing abuse or concerned for someone who may be being abused to call the police who will be able to help on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
Issued on: Thursday 23rd April 2020