DOMESTIC abuse bullies are the focus of a six-week blitz in Coventry this week, the police have announced.
A team of dedicated officers will target and arrest suspected abusers across the city as part of a ‘hard-hitting, intelligence-led operation’.
West Midlands Police has been encouraging the public to report abuse through a series of campaigns, including the Salon Saviours initiative which trains hairdressers and beauticians to spot tell-tale signs of physical or emotional torment.
The initiatives aim to give people increased confidence to break their silence and turn to the police and support agencies for help.
Now extra officers are being drafted in during the operation to support survivors and apprehend offenders.
Officers have more powers to prevent psychological abuse through new coercive control laws that have made controlling behaviour, such as preventing friendships or access to money, a specific criminal offence.
Detective Sergeant Alex Tarr from Coventry Police, who is leading the crackdown, said: “Domestic abuse can affect men, women and children and our message is very clear: it will not be tolerated.
“Anyone who commits an offence against their partner, ex-partner or family members faces being arrested; we will always be guided by the wishes of victims when considering a resolution but offenders must realise they could face jail if a criminal prosecution is deemed the most appropriate course of action.
“Increasing numbers of people are contacting us in the confidence that they will be listened to, that they will be believed, and that alongside support groups we will support them and help them break free from abusive relationships.
“We take all reports of domestic abuse seriously and will not hesitate to take action – as this operation shows.”
The operation forms part of West Midlands Police’s Sentinel campaign, launched by West Midlands Police in 2013, which targets ’hidden crimes’ such as domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, honour based violence, and FGM.
All front line officers have received specialist training on vulnerability issues and spotting the signs of abuse, plus there has been a focus on closer working with key partners in social services, health, education and charities.
Anyone suffering domestic abuse is urged to contact West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit (PPU) – which includes specially trained officers to deal with abuse issues sensitively – by phoning the 101 number.
One of the charities West Midlands Police works with to tackle domestic abuse is Women’s Aid; they can be contacted on a free helpline 0808 2000 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.