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Posted on Thursday 4 August 2022
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Sometimes even those who don’t want to be helped, need our help.

Officers responding to a dropped out 999 call of a potential domestic violence victim knew something didn’t feel quite right.At around 4am on Saturday, July 23, the victim made contact with our force control room, the female was very difficult to understand, she was screaming down the phone and shouting ‘get off me, I’ve had enough’.

The caller managed to give her postcode before the line cleared - a number of attempts were then made to recontact her without any success.

Sergeant Sarah Thompson and her colleague PC Chloe Canvin, from Bishop Auckland response were immediately dispatched to the address.

Whilst the officers were on route, the call handler managed to recontact the victim who explained she had been assaulted by her partner before the line cleared one more time.

The officers raced to the address which appeared in darkness, all doors were locked and there was no answer to multiple knocks.

Sgt Thompson and PC Canvin could however hear screaming and shouting coming from inside the address which prompted them to force entry and smash the window of a downstairs window to gain access.

Once inside, they located the victim in an upstairs bedroom with multiple injuries and bruising all over her body and face.

A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and false imprisonment.

He has since been bailed outside of the area with conditions not to attend the address.Unfortunately, the victim did not want to proceed with criminal charges.

Sergeant Thompson said: “As response officers, we are regularly called to domestic incidents where we believe the victim is at immediate risk of serious harm.

“Although we rely on the information received to assess a situation, we also rely heavily on our gut instinct to take action in order to safeguard the victim.

“During this particular incident, we had to force entry to the house by smashing the window in order to protect the victim who had been locked inside the address.

“No one should be subject to violence at any point, especially in their own homes. I would urge anyone who is experiencing domestic violence to contact us.

“We are here 24/7, working around the clock to protect you and provide you with the support you may need.

“Sometimes victims of domestic violence don’t wish to support prosecutions, this can be for multiple reasons. However, where we can, we will support evidence led prosecutions to ensure offenders are put before the courts.”

In an emergency, always call 999, if you are unable to speak, please cough or dial 5 5 on your keyboard and operators will know you need help.

For advice, you can also visit the national Domestic Abuse Helpline: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk or call 0808 2000247.

Or Women’s Aid: https://www.womensaid.org.uk

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