ESSEX Police's chief constable has announced he is personally taking control of the force's response to domestic abuse as the force takes part in an awareness week on the issue.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said he has made a commitment from Essex Police to offer better protection and support to victims of domestic abuse ahead of the campaign this week and has taken personal oversight of the force’s plans to shape the way it deals with the issue of domestic abuse.
He said: "There has been some really positive work done so far and we have made a number of improvements to the way we tackle domestic abuse but I know there is still more work to be done.
"We are in the process of setting up joint teams with Essex County, Southend Borough and Thurrock Borough councils to share information and respond together to domestic abuse incidents.
"I want us to wrap as much protection and support around victims as possible so that if necessary they can find new homes, schools for their children and other services to enable them to escape the cycle of domestic abuse.
"At the same time we are determined to take a hard-line approach with offenders; to make them the focus of police attention and prosecute them for any and all offences they commit.”
The awareness week will culminate on March 7 with the nationwide roll-out of Clare’s Law, which will allow people to check the police record of their partners, and can be triggered in two ways.
Firstly by a Right-to-Ask, where people can apply to police forces in England and Wales for information on a partner's history of domestic violence, and a Right-to-Know: where police can proactively disclose information in certain circumstances.
In the run up to the launch, Essex Police will also be highlighting some of the other areas where it has been carrying out work on the policing of domestic abuse: On Tuesday March 4 it will be talking about witness and victim care On Wednesday March 5 it will be highlighting the planned introduction of domestic violence protection notices and prevention orders On Thursday March 6 it will be showcasing the work of its newly created Domestic Abuse Crime Unit.
Finally on Friday March 7 it will be explaining in greater detail about the launch of Clare’s Law, how it will work in Essex and how people can make use of it.
More information about domestic abuse and the Essex Police response can be found on the website at http://www.essex.police.uk/be_safe/domestic_abuse.aspx