Police and Crime Commissioner praises Gwent Police for domestic abuse policing during pandemic

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has praised the efforts of Gwent Police to police domestic abuse and support victims during the pandemic.

His comments come as a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services recognises that UK police forces took proactive measures to police domestic abuse cases under difficult lockdown conditions.

The Commissioner has commended the good work undertaken by Gwent Police to keep people safe, however, he issues caution that many cases of domestic abuse are still going un-reported.

He said: “Policing in a pandemic is incredibly hard and I must commend Gwent Police’s efforts to protect and support victims of domestic abuse during this time.

“However, we know that many more victims will have been too scared to come forward.

“I know it may be difficult but if you have been a victim of these crimes I want to reassure you that help is available and I would urge you to speak out. If you don’t want to speak to the police, our partner agencies can also help and support you, and keep you safe.”

Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “Making sure that throughout the pandemic we took action to check on individuals who had previously been in contact with us having experienced domestic violence, or offered new routes to get in touch with us was crucial.  Lock-down had the potential to increase the risk of harm to individuals and we wanted to make sure that they knew that there was help available whether through Gwent Police or partner agencies who could offer practical support and advice.

“Whether it was working with pharmacies to support the ‘Ask Ani’ scheme to enable people to ask for help, or our officers actively checking on people we wanted to make sure that we were available and listening.

“We will continue our work to help individuals and families live a life without fear.”

Victims can report incidents to Gwent Police via 101, or call 999 in an emergency.

Help is also available through dedicated sexual abuse and sexual violence support services:

BAWSO: Provides specialist support services for Black minority ethnic residents.
Website: https://bawso.org.uk/
Phone: 08007318147

Connect Gwent: Offers a wide range of victim support services. You do not have to report a crime to the police to access these services.
Website: www.umbrellacymru.co.uk/connect-gwent
Phone: 0300 123 2133

Cyfannol Women’s Aid: Provides domestic abuse and sexual violence support services.
Website: https://cyfannol.org.uk
Phone: 01495 742052

Live Fear Free: Free Welsh Government helpline giving information and advice for people suffering with domestic abuse or sexual violence.
Website: https://gov.wales/live-fear-free
Phone: 0808 8010 800.

New Pathways: Provides rape crisis and sexual abuse support services for adults and children.
Website: www.newpathways.org.uk
Phone: 01685 379 310