Officers have been able to use video technology to virtually respond to calls that have been risk assessed and deemed suitable as part of the Domestic Abuse Hub, which launched on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Within minutes of receiving a call, Kent Police officers can record the crime, take statements, and gather valuable evidence. This allows mobile patrols to respond to calls where there is an immediate threat of harm.
Since its inception, 600 calls have been virtually responded to, resulting in multiple arrests.
An officer with immediate contact with a victim can also implement immediate safeguarding and referrals to partner agencies to protect vulnerable people.
On June 28, officers were able to provide full safeguarding for a victim, and a panic alarm was installed within four hours of the initial call. The suspect was apprehended an hour later.
On 30 June, the team responded to another call and captured the evidence within the first hour, provided a comprehensive safeguarding plan, and ensured the suspect was relentlessly pursued until his arrest eight hours later.
Victims have also expressed satisfaction because they can have their case handled quickly and professionally, without having to wait for an officer or miss a visit.
‘It was amazing to have the service so quickly, I could see the officer, felt connected and reassured,’ said one caller. It was a five-star service with an incredible video consultation.’
‘It was a long and involved call, but the officer was calm and courteous,’ said another victim. He was a breath of fresh air, and speaking with him made me feel safer.’
This is a completely optional service that provides victims with innovative support.
‘I am so pleased that the Rapid Video Response has made victims feel safer,’ said Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Banks.
‘With the introduction of this service, we will be able to respond to cases that do not require an immediate response in person.’ We can quickly provide reassurance and ensure victims receive the necessary safeguarding and support, and officers can take swift action to hold offenders accountable for any offences.
‘We have received extremely positive feedback thus far, and we will continue to strive to improve the service we provide to victims of domestic abuse.’ This approach complements our action plan to combat violence against women and girls, and while we recognise that not all victims are women, the approach will benefit all and make Kent a safer place to live.’
Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or social status. Domestic abuse is likely if you are subjected to physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse, or if you are threatened, intimidated, or stalked by a current or former partner or close family member.
What is happening is not your fault. You are not by yourself.
You can report it to us, or if you are unwilling to speak with the police, you can contact a support organisation that will assist you.