Conservative party’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidate in the West Midlands, Jay Singh-Sohal has pledged to recruit and train more specialist Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) to be first responders to deal with rising issues of domestic abuse and domestic violence across the region.
It comes as grassroots community organisations dealing with the issue say police handling domestic abuse need to be better trained to handle sensitive issues as well as those within diverse communities. Currently, police officers respond to cases of domestic abuse as with any crime.
During lockdown, reported domestic abuse has increased by 41% - and this follows year-on-year increases since 2011-12. The number of Domestic Violence Protection Notices has also increased during lockdown. These may be used following a domestic incident to provide short-term protection to victims, but arrests have not been made.
PCSOs already have the power to enter and search any premises, and Jay’s plan to get crime down will utilise PCSOs in often-challenging roles such as responding to cases of domestic abuse.