Domestic abuse response car trialled in Cornwall & Plymouth

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner has been trialling a new approach to helping high-risk domestic abuse victims this summer as part of an innovative pilot in Cornwall and Plymouth.

Funded by NRCN Member Alison Hernandez as part of her investment in summer policing, the Devon and Cornwall Police has partnered with experts from First Light in Cornwall and Plymouth Domestic Abuse Services (PDAS).

A dedicated unmarked vehicle has seen an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA) (Plymouth) or a specialist domestic abuse support worker (Cornwall) and a plain clothes police officer deployed together to domestic abuse incidents.

This would deliver an immediate response to incidents of domestic abuse at the most critical point providing the best support to the victim, whilst at the same time enabling officers to gather quality evidence of offences and to provide a thorough risk assessment.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez, said:

“We have invested significantly in this project because I feel it is essential to get the right support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence at the right time.

“By sending dedicated specialist officers to this type of incident it also releases the pressure on officers elsewhere which is so important during the busy summer period.

“Police officers have seen how effective this approach is in tackling domestic abuse in other police forces throughout the country. Our aim is to protect any victim of domestic abuse from further harm and to bring offenders to justice.”

The unmarked car worked between 4pm and 2am Fridays and Saturdays. One was based in Newquay and the other based at Charles Cross police station in Plymouth city centre.

Superintendent Sharon Donald who is the force lead for Domestic Abuse said:

“With this timely and dedicated response we aim to be there at the right time so that we can make a difference. Over this three-month period we will be looking to make sure we see the same results in Plymouth and Cornwall that other forces have seen. This car gives us the opportunity to provide a timely and dedicated response, so that we can make a difference.”

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