Greater Manchester Police which has been heavily criticised over the way it deals with allegations of domestic abuse has today unveiled its latest tactic a computer app. The app allows people to consider a scenario frequently encountered by police, for example, a 999 call about loud noises coming from next door, before making decisions about what action should be taken.
The actions taken by users can result in different conclusions, for example, a better life for a victim away from their abuser or their death.
Police bosses say the app named ‘Your Call: Domestic Abuse’ will help to educate people including victims, witnesses and their families about how abusers manipulate their victims so violence can continue and escalate. It was unveiled today as GMP launched a high profile campaign to tackle the usual seasonal escalation of domestic violence over the Christmas and New Year period.
Pivotal to the campaign is Clare’s Law, named after Clare Wood, who had no knowledge of the horrific record of domestic abuse of her boyfriend who then went on to murder her. In the last two years 270 people have requested disclosure about partners under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in the Grester Manchester area where the initiative was initially piloted.
However Greater Manchester Police has been repeatedly criticised over the past few years about the manner in which it investigates domestic abuse. In March, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary demanded ‘urgent action’ stating that insufficient protection was given to victims. The force has additionally faced severe criticism over the handling of a number of tragic cases and last week the Independent Police Complaints Commission uncovered a ‘catalogue of missed opportunities’ prior to the murder of Stockport nurse Katie Cullen.
Launching the app, Detective Chief Superintendant Vanessa Jardine said:
“Domestic abuse is our number one priority and the safety of victims is paramount. We know from our own information that one-in-four women will be a victim in their lifetime as will one-in-six men. This is sad statistic which highlights the scale of the problem across Greater Manchester particularly during the festive period, when finances become tighter and tensions get higher.
“Our campaign aims to encourage victims and friends and family of victims to come forward and be aware of the support services that can help those men and women suffering from abuse. Victims should not feel like they have to suffer in silence as all reports made to us are taken seriously and how difficult domestic abuse incidents can be.”