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Merseyside Police offer ‘silent solution’ for domestic abuse victims during COVID19 outbreak

Merseyside Police and Sefton Council have reiterated their commitment to keeping all residents safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As households follow the national isolation guidelines at this time vulnerable people in our communities may be concerned about the prospect of remaining at home, particularly victims of domestic abuse.

The emergency 999 system allows for people who are not free to speak to either make a noise or press 55. This alerts the operator to the fact that you need help, and they can then connect to the police.

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs, from Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “There is no suggestion that there has been a rise in the number of calls in relation to domestic abuse on Merseyside but we aware that we are currently in unprecedented and challenging times and that people may feel particularly concerned about the circumstances they currently find themselves in.

“We want to be able to relieve some of that concern by reassuring people that domestic abuse remains a priority for the Force and our specially trained officers will continue to be there for people to offer help and support and to investigate allegations of abuse thoroughly and professionally.

“We would always advise that if someone is in immediate danger they should dial 999 and speak to an operator but we also accept that in times such as this when households are self-isolating that openly speaking is not always an option.

“The Silent Solution is a service which means a vulnerable person can call 999 and alert us, without making a sound, that they need our help and we will respond.

“If they do not want to contact the police at this time then I would urge people not to remain quiet but to get support from other agencies or speak to friends and family about what is happening.”

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse could not be more clear.

“You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence – we are always here to offer help and support to anyone who needs it.

“Sefton are working with multiple partners including Merseyside Police and providers of domestic abuse support across Merseyside and we will continue to work togethe for anyone affected by domestic abuse.”

If you have any non-urgent information on domestic abuse – if you are a victim or believe someone you know is a victim – you can contact direct message @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook or contact @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:
Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours) https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 200 0247(24 hours)