Covid-19 and domestic abuse – we are still here for you
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As the national message to stay at home continues, we would like to remind victims of domestic abuse about the support available.
More than five weeks since the Government advice was given – our message, that we are here for you – still very much applies.
The number of domestic abuse occurrences recorded by the force fell in March this year (1,681) from March 2019 (1,729).
But up to and including 28 April this year, 1,661 occurrences were recorded. This is an increase on the 1,620 occurrences recorded between 1 and 28 April 2019.
We acknowledge the number for April 2020 will continue to increase further, as occurrences continue to be recorded on our databases.
In light of this, we would like to remind anyone suffering from domestic abuse of the help available – particularly the Silent Solution. This is how it works:
All calls made to 999 are directed to a BT operator, who will ask what service you need. If no service is requested, but anything suspicious is heard throughout the process, BT operators will connect you to a police call handler
It is always best to speak to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tape the keys on your phone in response to questions
If making a sound would put you or someone else in danger and the BT operator cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, your call will be transferred to the Silent Solution system
The Silent Solution helps to filter out accidental or hoax 999 calls – but also assist those who cannot or unable to speak
A 20-second automated message will play, which will ask you to press 55 to be put through to a police call handler. The BT operator will remain on the line and listen. If you press 55, they will be notified and transfer the call to the police. If you don’t press 55, the call will be terminated
The Silent Solution does not work on calls made from a landline. However, if a call from a landline is received and there is no request for an emergency, the caller does not answer or only background noise can be heard and the operator cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, the call will be directed to a police call handler.
If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick it up again.
If, during this time, you do pick it up again and the operator is concerned for your safety, the call will be connected to police.
Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Batchelor said officers and staff remain dedicated to investigating all reports received as domestic abuse remains a force priority.
She said: “We are very aware of the risks some people may be facing staying at home during the current situation. We continue to encourage people to make reports to us or to report any concerns you have about someone else.
“We also continue to work to raise awareness of domestic abuse, including working with partner agencies, to provide support and advice so victims feel able to reach out for help.
“Domestic abuse is unacceptable on every level and no one should think they need to suffer in silence. We are here to help you.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland you can also contact United Against Violence and Abuse on 0808 802 0028 or visit http://www.uava.org.uk/
For more information about support services available visit the domestic abuse section of the force website https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/