Greater Manchester Police is reinforcing its fight against domestic abuse with a month long operation aimed at raising awareness of the underreported crime, capturing criminals wanted for domestic abuse offences and encouraging people to recognise the signs in their own or someone else’s relationship.
Beginning today, Monday 12 September, Operation Scratch will see officers from across Greater Manchester working together to search for people who have committed domestic abuse related crimes and reaching out to communities, urging them to report suspicions or get support if they are a victim.
The operation comes eight months after a change in the law that made coercive and controlling behaviour in relationships illegal. Since then, GMP has investigated 55 reports under the new legislation.
The new legislation mean that victims who are subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour can bring their perpetrators to justice, with incidents that stop short of serious physical violence but amount to extreme psychological and emotional abuse will now be recognised as a crime within the domestic abuse framework.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rumney from GMP said: “It’s really important that we reinforce our commitment to tackling all forms of domestic abuse but in particular that we show people that we are taking the new coercive and controlling behavior law seriously. These offenders have committed horrific crimes against people that are close to them, something that we will absolutely not tolerate. They will feel the full force of the law when we catch them.
“Coercive and controlling behavior has a huge impact on victims and we must do everything that we can to support them if they come forward.
“We know that domestic abuse is sometimes less likely to be reported to the police as victims may feel that they won’t be believed. It is therefore vital that we take a stand against these kind of crimes and that we invest the time and work into ensuring our front line officers are fully equipped to deal with incidents so that victims receive the best possible support. We work closely with our partners to do this but efforts such as this go some way to keep domestic abuse at the top of our agenda.”
Officers will be going after offenders who have committed crimes against their loved ones but will also be continuing a campaign started by GMP when the legislation first changed, SCRATCH.
Raising awareness of the signs to look for when it comes to coercive and controlling behaviour the campaign sees officers give members of the public SCRATCH cards which, instead of revealing a cash prize, will uncover another layer of controlling behaviour as the sections are scratched away.
As well as raising awareness with the public specially trained officers will spend the month sharing their knowledge with officers and staff from across the Force, holding training sessions for front line officers who deal with domestic abuse incidents first hand.
For more information, whether you are a victim, friend, family member or neighbour please visit: www.gmp.police.uk/domesticabuse.
To contact your local domestic abuse unit call the GMP switchboard on 101. In an emergency where there is an immediate threat to life or property always call 999.