North Yorkshire Police has today launched a five-month campaign to help protect vulnerable victims of crime.
Titled “NO HOME HERE”, the campaign is designed to raise public awareness about a range of emotionally and physically harmful crimes that often go unnoticed because the victims are living in fear.
The intention is to highlight the patterns of behaviour of both the victims and those responsible for the harm, to the wider community and encourage reports into police via 101 or in an emergency via 999.
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Online and media publicity is being used to promote the campaign, including targeted leaflets and posters to a range of people and organisations who are likely to come into contact with both victims and offenders.
With this increased awareness to spot the tell-tale signs, North Yorkshire Police is calling upon everybody in the local community to be extra vigilant and report incidents, either directly to the police or via an alternative reporting channel such as a dedicated charity.
The five strands of community harm that will be focused on during the campaign are:
- domestic abuse (December)
- child neglect (January)
- stalking and harassment (February)
- hate (March)
- modern slavery and human trafficking (April)
Community partners from the local councils, education, emergency and health services, and other organisations such as retailers will be supporting the campaign.
Detective Superintendent Nigel Costello, North Yorkshire Police’s Head of Safeguarding and Public Protection, said:
“There is no doubt in my mind that in most communities in North Yorkshire and the City of York, there are highly vulnerable people who are living in constant fear.
“Whether the cause of this fear is domestic abuse, child neglect, stalking and harassment, hate crime, or modern slavery and human trafficking, it is a truly chilling thought that this could be going on within view or earshot of your home or place of work.”
Det Supt Costello added: “As we have experienced from previous cases, it is sometimes tragically too late for the police and other agencies to rescue victims from terrible situations.
“When the victims themselves are too scared to come forward, we instead rely heavily on reports and information from caring people in the local community. Armed with this information, effective interventions can be made to help vulnerable victims and seek justice against the perpetrators of such distressing and devastating crimes.
“We want to ensure that such crimes have ‘NO HOME HERE’ in North Yorkshire and the City of York. We all have a role to play to help put a stop to it, and you can make a real difference by picking up the phone and reporting what you see or hear.”
“NO HOME HERE” for domestic abuse
As part of North Yorkshire Police’s new “NO HOME HERE” campaign to help protect vulnerable victims of crime, the festive month of December will see a focus on domestic abuse.
This strand of the tackling community harm campaign will raise awareness about this often hidden away crime that is sometimes perceived to be socially embarrassing for the victims.
It has long been established that the additional pressures of the Christmas and New Year period can put extra strain on already deteriorated relationships.
Sadly, this can result in damaging outbursts of emotional and physical abuse.
In October and November 2016, the total number of domestic abuse crimes was 859. In December 2016 and January 2017, the total rose by more than 2% to 878 – an increase of 19 crimes.
The intention of the campaign is to highlight the patterns of behaviour of both the victims of domestic abuse and those responsible for the harm, to the wider community.
With this increased awareness to spot the tell-tale signs, North Yorkshire Police is calling upon everybody in the local community to be extra vigilant and report incidents of suspected domestic abuse all-year-round.
If victims do not want to involve the police, they can still seek confidential professional help and support from IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service. Their 24-hour helpline is 03000110110 or visit the website for essential help and advice www.idas.org.uk
Victims can also receive information and support from Supporting Victims, a North Yorkshire–based service put in place by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Call 01609643100 to access the necessary level of support that’s right for you or visit www.supportingvictims.org
Speaking about the domestic abuse element of the campaign, Detective Chief Inspector Allan Harder, of North Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Command, said:
“Domestic abuse is a truly devastating crime that causes great suffering and long-term anguish for victims.
“From past experience, the police and our partner organisations know that the number of incidents increases over the festive season. This is often down to financial pressures, the stress of Christmas and excess alcohol and drug-misuse.
“But to be absolutely clear, there is never an excuse for such terrible behaviour at any time of the year.”
DCI Harder added: “We also know that many incidents of domestic abuse are never reported to the police. North Yorkshire Police wants victims to feel confident enough to report these crimes in the knowledge they will receive the help they so desperately need.
“While we will continue our efforts to reach-out to victims directly, the ‘NO HOME HERE’ campaign provides a timely opportunity for people in the local community to make a real difference and help put an end to the suffering of victims.
“If there is someone you know who is being abused, or you regularly see someone who appears fearful of their partner or other family members who they live with, it is important that you report it without delay to the police.
“There is also a range of professional and confidential support available for victims who feel they do not yet have the strength to come forward to the police. These organisations include IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service, and Supporting Victims which are both based in North Yorkshire.
“To the victims out there who are too afraid to seek help, I say this: please don’t suffer in silence, we are all here to help you.”