Domestic abuse victims across Nottinghamshire are now being supported by an expanded emergency response service, with expert advice and support arriving on their doorstep in the immediate aftermath of an assault.
In April Nottinghamshire Police launched a new response car service that would be available to support victims in Mansfield and Ashfield at peak times on Friday and Saturday nights.
This followed a grant from the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
Initially set to run for a trial period of 12 months, the service has now been expanded to cover the whole of Nottinghamshire, with two cars on duty covering the north and south of the county.
Each car is staffed by an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) from Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid and Juno Women’s Aid.
By pairing a police officer with an expert domestic abuse advisor, the initiative aims to deliver the best possible support to victims and improve the rate of successful prosecutions and better safeguard victims.
DC Paul Crofts said: “We take all incidents of domestic abuse extremely seriously and are committed to getting victims the very best support and advice as soon as possible. This helps us to keep them safe and allows us to collect the very best possible evidence to use in future prosecutions.
“Sadly, we know that victims of domestic abuse can retract complaints or become less cooperative in the days after incidents have happened – often because of pressure from the perpetrator or their family. We also know that they can be very fearful of the consequences of a criminal investigation on their family life.
“That’s why we have brought in some genuine local expertise to address this concerns as quickly and as clearly as possible. As well as gathering they very best quality evidence for future use, other actions may include taking the victim to emergency accommodation, or providing emergency finance for living expenses.
“So far we have had some very encouraging results and some good engagement from victims who had initially been very reluctant to talk further about what happened to them. That is totally understandable and I am really pleased at the independent advisors working with the new car service have been successful in changing their minds. Even when this has not been possible we have been able to link victims in with a future avenue of support and advice.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “We know that too often that victims are reluctant to speak out in situations of domestic violence, and so I was pleased to be able to fund this innovative new service to give victims on-the-ground instant support and advice from trained advisors.”
“I am determined that we get tough on the scourge of domestic violence in Nottinghamshire, and we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to increase the chances of bringing offenders to justice and supporting the victims.”