Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG): More crimes solved and more offenders jailed in Essex
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More sexual offences are being solved and more offenders are behind bars thanks to the continued hard work of our force, supported by specialist officers, new approaches and closer work with our partners.
We have invested in specialist teams to tackle domestic abuse and sexual offences, supporting victims and breaking the cycle of abuse, most recently with our new rapid video response team collecting evidence as soon as possible following a domestic abuse incident.
We have established the Synergy Essex First Responders scheme – a first-of-its kind project giving victims access to support within one working day of reporting an offence to police.
The Crown Prosecution Service’s advice is now being sought at a much earlier stage as well, helping to develop investigations and increase the chance of a case going to trial.
Advances like these mean we have solved more sexual offences, more rapes and more high-risk domestic abuse cases than last year, putting more offenders behind bars for their crimes.
Among those was sex offender Michael King, 64, of Marine Parade West in Clacton, jailed for eight years in August at Chelmsford Crown Court. He was first arrested in 2016 after he sexually assaulted a woman how who initially did not want to pursue an investigation. However, no case is ever closed – when she contacted us again in 2017 we continued re-opened the investigation and thank her for her bravery in speaking out again.
We have also seen 32-year-old Ben Barnsley, of Ronald Road in Halstead, jailed for three and a half years this month following a domestic abuse incident where he strangled his partner and threw a pint glass at her before denying the assault and harassing the victim. Thanks to the support of the officer supporting her, DC Debbie Jakeman, she supported our investigation and Barnsley is now behind bars.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Waldie, head of Crime and Public Protection said:
“It is crucial to the safety of our county that we tackle violence against women and girls and catch those responsible for this crime these crimes. “This work begins with education, making clear the impact domestic abuse has on victims with projects like our #Reflect campaign, focusing on perpetrators and urging them to recognise problematic behaviour. “We have dedicated teams of officers in our force control room taking domestic abuse calls, and specialist detectives investigating child abuse, domestic abuse and sexual abuse. “We’ve also changed how we assess the most dangerous domestic abuse perpetrators, now using an evidence-based approach backed by academic research. “Steps like this all contribute to the increases we see in solved cases, as well as the reduction we see in VAWG-related crime; there were 4,500 fewer domestic abuse offences in Essex this year compared to the previous 12 months, and 550 less sexual offences in the same period. “Our priorities are helping people, keeping them safe and catching criminals. That’s what we’re doing when it comes to acting on violence against women and girls.”