An operation that aims to stop repeat cases of domestic abuse has been re-launched by Cumbria Police this month (December) to help those suffering again and again from these incidents.

Operation County targets repeat offenders while also offering additional support to victims and their families.

People who have been identified as repeat victims will be visited by police and made aware of the support available and how officers can help them access it.

They are also provided with a consistent, single point of contact where they can report crimes and concerns.

Officers are also visiting the people who are responsible for the abuse in order to encourage and help them address their offending behaviour.

A similar version of the operation was run earlier this year as part of measures to address domestic abuse in the wake of the pandemic restrictions and this resulted in a reduction in repeat incidents.

Police are today highlighting the work as part of the force’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the services available. The campaign is running this month.

Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop said: “Sadly, every day we see the damage domestic abuse brings upon communities, individuals and families.

“The Constabulary continues to take a variety of approaches to ensure we do everything we can to prevent further incidents of abuse and safeguard those who have suffered.

“The police prioritise domestic abuse all-year-round but we are carrying out a dedicated operation at this time of year because this is a period when domestic abuse can be more prevalent.”

Addressing offender behaviour is a key part of stopping this abuse.

DCI Yallop added: “Repeat offenders can expect a visit from us. We know who they are and we are monitoring them very closely.  I am determined that we do everything we can to keep people safe.

“This will involve arresting the person responsible for the abuse but we also need to work with offenders to address their behaviour in order to stop the cycle of repeat offending.

“We cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem and we will continue to work with our partners in order to address the causes of offending behaviour.

“Domestic abuse will not be tolerated.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Sadly domestic abuse happens in our communities as it does anywhere else, and no matter where it occurs it is unacceptable and must be dealt with robustly.

“The police are ready to step in when called and do what they can do help and it is my role as PCC to provide services for the victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“I would always encourage anyone in an abusive relationship to call the police on 101, 999 in an emergency; and if you cannot speak you can press 55 to alert the call handler that you need help.

“Nobody should have to endure abuse of any kind alone; the police and indeed other agencies are available to help.

“However, I do understand that this isn’t an option for everyone and there are services that can help.

“Victim Support  can provide advice, information and signpost you to other services that can help, call them on 0300 303 0157 Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm or the 24/7 Supportline on 0808 1689 111. If you cannot speak, visit the website www.victimsupport.org.uk and use the Livechat.

“I also fund a programme called Turning the Spotlight, provided by Victim Support, that aims to help couples and families to reduce abusive traits in relationships.

“Through one-on-one support, Turning the Spotlight helps people understand what a healthy relationship is, how to maintain a healthy relationship and helps families address and reflect on their issues and develop relationship changing skills.

“Please don’t suffer in silence – there are people that want to help and you are never alone.”

There are five categories of domestic abuse:

Physical abuse.

Controlling behaviour – where someone controls areas of the victim’s life. This can include controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.

Coercive behaviour – where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells.

*  Financial abuse – where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others. This is also a form of controlling behaviour.

Psychological abuse – where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mindset of the victim.

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

You can access support services regardless of whether you have reported a crime to the police.

To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0808 1689 111 – or visit the Cumbria Together website www.cumbriatogether.com.

There is also help for domestic violence perpetrators available at respectphoneline.org.uk.


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