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Emerald team hosts first multi-agency business conference on domestic abuse

12 Jun 2019

Bedfordshire Police’s dedicated domestic abuse team held its first ever multi-agency business conference today (Wednesday).

A number of local businesses were invited to join the Emerald team for the event at the force headquarters in Kempston, along with a series of support charities and services from across Bedfordshire.

The conference was an opportunity to raise awareness of how to spot the signs that someone in their organisation may be a victim, or perpetrator, of domestic abuse and where to signpost them for help.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Dadd leads the force Emerald team which is dedicated to investigating domestic crime and sexual offences. She said: ‘’It has been excellent that we have been able to bring the public and private sector together as employers across Bedfordshire, to raise the awareness of how to recognise and assist employees involved in domestic abuse.’’

It is hoped that this event will be a forerunner for future business engagements, helping industries to spot and deal with domestic abuse related issues.

Emily Martin and Emily Longden from the Emerald Centre Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), based in Bedford, attended the event and said: “It’s great to get the opportunity to engage with other partners relevant to our service, and we have even learned about services we can signpost others to that we previously didn’t know of.”

Charlotte Day, Chief Officer of the Bedford Women’s Centre, added: “We have come along today hoping to raise awareness of the support available for women in the county, and engage with other professionals who may not realise how easy it is to refer others.

“Creating wider awareness of domestic abuse can educate people about how commonplace it can be and break down the stigma to encourage more to step forward.”

The event took the form of a conference in the force’s Lecture Theatre, featuring advice on not only how to identify those who may be involved in domestic abuse, but also on the impact this could have on their working environment.

This was followed by a ‘marketplace’ networking session, featuring stalls run by various support services.

Briony Barnes, HR Advisor for local hospitality and tourism brand Woburn Estates, said: “Having the marketplace element of the event was really beneficial to get information so that when there is an issue arising in the workplace, you know where to signpost to. Whatever we can provide to our managers, who are the ones working alongside employees, is useful to equip them with knowledge about domestic abuse.”

Abuse of any kind isn’t acceptable. If you have concerns about a person’s behaviour towards another, or you fear for someone’s safety please get in touch.

Call the police in confidence on 101, and remember, always call 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For advice about domestic abuse, please visit the force’s website, where there is information and details of partner agencies who can find the right help for you.

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