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29 October, 2020

Commissioner criticises West Midlands Chief Constable for comments on domestic violence

North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Yorkshire domestic abuse charity IDAS say trust between those have survived domestic abuse and the police is vital – and have criticised comments today from West Midlands Chief Constable

In today’s (29 October) Times, David Thompson questions the time spent, in his words, ‘policing relationships’.

In response, Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Here in North Yorkshire, we have a real focus on supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse – it is one of North Yorkshire Police’s priorities, and it is one of mine. It is therefore very disappointing to hear a Chief Constable talk about reducing the service to some victims, when we know that many still do not report what is happening to them.

“In addition, suggesting that some forms of abuse or harassment do not warrant a police response puts the onus on victims themselves to somehow or other determine if their ‘type’ of abuse is worth reporting. This is not acceptable, and every victim needs to know that we are here for them and that their concerns will be taken with the utmost seriousness.

“If you are affected by domestic abuse, or have concerns about someone who may be, please report it to North Yorkshire Police, or alternatively contact IDAS at www.idas.org.uk, who will be able to offer you support and help.”

Sarah Hill, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire domestic abuse charity IDAS, added:

“IDAS support thousands of victims and survivors every year and we know that many of them are reluctant to report to the police for fear and concern that they won’t be taken seriously. 

“We also know that there is a relationship between what can appear to be so-called ‘minor’ instances of stalking and harassment and serious harm in domestic abuse cases.  It is therefore crucial that the police send a strong message to all victims and survivors that they can report and that their report will be taken seriously and acted on. 

“The message that Chief Constable Thompson gives is the exact opposite of this and sadly could have a harmful impact on the most vulnerable victims.”