Police to Film Aftermath of Domestic Violence

Article excerpt

Byline: By TOMOS LIVINGSTONE Western Mail

Police are to carry video cameras to film the aftermath of domestic violence in a bid to counter the jump in incidents on Valentine's Day and on international rugby days. South Wales Police are running a two-month pilot to test new approaches to dealing with the problem. Across Britain there were 410,000 reports of domestic abuse last year, with police figures revealing a rise after major sporting events and on February 14.

In the South Wales Police force area alone there were 12,750 reported incidents between April and December 2005. It is estimated only 35% of cases are reported to police.

In one scheme, to be trialled in Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf, specially-trained officers will, where possible, be the first to respond to a 999 call reporting domestic abuse. In a UK-first, they will use video cameras to gather evidence and help boost conviction rates.

Another pilot, based at Morriston hospital, will see a specialist domestic violence officer based in the accident and emergency ward on a Friday and Saturday night.

Detective Superintendent Simon Clarke, Head of Public Protection for South Wales Police said, 'In the Cardiff and RCT pilot, when a call comes in that is domestic abuse, we will get domestic abuse officers straight there. They will give victim support, and the video cameras will be used to video the scene there and then, to give the complete picture. …