Stafford police officers awarded White Ribbon for tackling domestic abuse

STAFFORD officers who unearthed a stalker will be honoured after Staffordshire Police were awarded national recognition for their work to tackle domestic abuse.

The White Ribbon campaign works to condemn violence against women and they have recognised that the force has developed a clear vision for public protection, including domestic abuse.

Chief Constable Jane Sawyers will be signing the White Ribbon pledge on behalf of the force, which reads: I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about men’s violence against women in all its forms.

To mark the accreditation, Staffs Police are holding an awards ceremony to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of our officers and staff to safeguard victims of domestic abuse. The event, to be held on the evening of Thursday, May 18, will showcase officers who have gone that extra mile for victims.

The event will hear some tragic, yet inspiring stories to demonstrate how the good work of our officers, staff and those of supporting agencies can free people from lives where they experience abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour.

One victim helped by Staffordshire Police summed up the calibre of officers that has to take on the biggest abusers and offenders: “From day one he has been professional, fearless of the perpetrator, knowledgeable and caring towards me. I do not say this lightly, but I dread to think where I would be without the service he has given.”

Chief constable Jane Sawyers said: “We are committed to tackling all forms of domestic abuse and the White Ribbon Accreditation is a demonstration of our continued commitment to victims and preventing domestic abuse.

“More people are coming forward to report offending which shows victims have confidence in us.

“We continue to take a victim-focused approach and officers have been trained to take the time to understand what is really going on, listen to victims and look for signs of coercion or control. We recognise the effect, not only on the victim, but the wider families of those involved, such as children who grow up within violent or controlling environments.

“Often abuse goes on over long periods of time, is not about a single incident but involves systematic abusive behaviour. While not all of this abuse is violent the result is often that the victim will live in fear. We know this as research shows victims will often endure abuse on many occasions before asking for help and we are recognising and recording this more often.”

Examples of the citations that will be celebrated at the event on the May 18 include:

• a Cannock investigation which stopped years of domestic abuse against a woman and three children;

• a domestic abuse advisor in Tamworth that gradually created enough trust with a victim to convince her to cooperate with an investigation and end 20 years of abuse and control by her husband;

• Stafford officers performing a detailed investigation into claims of stalking unearthed a stalker that used sophisticated digital technology to evade detection and to track the victim’s vehicle;

• a Tamworth officer team that created a cooperative working environment with partner agencies that resulted in early intervention and less victims of domestic violence;

• a Burslem officer worked with a vulnerable teenage girl to compile an account of 14 years of suffering assaults and controlling and coercive behaviour. This horrendous catalogue of abuse, diligently handled by the officer to ensure it met the stringent requirements for a prosecution, resulted in the offender being convicted and;

• an agoraphobic victim that had faced 10 years of being in a coercive and controlling relationship that was supported by a team of officers to finally provide a video witness statement from her home. The tenacity of the team to build trust and convince the victim that she can change her situation resulted in the offender being imprisoned and multi-agency support provided to the victim.

Information on the White Ribbon campaign can be found