‘If there is violence behind closed doors, we want to know’

IT’S a crime that destroys families and lives.

In Calderdale, the police say they are constantly on the look-out for calls that could be domestic violence, and have developed special procedures to try and bring offenders to justice and prevent further attacks.

But, with the key witness often reluctant to speak out, their work is not easy.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, from Calderdale Police, said: “It’s not uncommon to encounter a situation where, whether it’s out of fear or loyalty, a victim won’t co-operate with the police.”

Any report to the police that is identified as a potential case of domestic violence is answered by officers who are specially trained in domestic violence evidence gathering.

Reports range dramatically in severity, from family fallouts to violent attacks. The police stress that they take all reports seriously, and have domestic violence co-ordinators, who work as part of the division’s safeguarding unit, who analyse cases to assess the risk to the people in that household, including any children.

They will step in if there is any sign of immediate danger.

All cases are monitored and the police take part in regular multi-agency risk-assessment conferences, alongside other organisations including social services and health bodies.

At the conferences, cases are discussed so that different organisations can share information and support for victims can be reveiwed.

Detective Chief Inspector Long urged people to report any concerns about domestic violence.

He said: “We want people in Calderdale to feel safe in their homes.

“If domestic violence is going on behind closed doors then we want people to tell us about it.”

To contact the police call 101 or information can be passed on anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.