Domestic violence event pledges to help tackle crime

HERE TO HELP From left, Carly Perry from Gosport Borough Council, Alan Fryer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Sgt Lesley Meenaghan of Gosport police '''''''' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143216-2)
HERE TO HELP From left, Carly Perry from Gosport Borough Council, Alan Fryer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Sgt Lesley Meenaghan of Gosport police '''''''' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143216-2)
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PEOPLE were urged to pledge their help in ending domestic violence.

Police and community safety teams were in Gosport yesterday for White Ribbon Day, a national awareness day.

The campaign is targeted at men and asks them never to condone violence or stand by when it happens.

Sergeant Lesley Meenaghan from Gosport police was at the event at Tesco superstore in Rowner yesterday.

Talking about domestic abuse incidents, Sgt Meenaghan said: ‘Very often officers walk into a situation and there’s alcohol or drugs involved. Often the police have been called by a concerned neighbour.

‘Officers’ overriding initial priority is the safety of all parties involved.

‘They will collate all available evidence at the scene, which can be difficult. There may be children in the property and emotions are invariably running high.’

Outreach workers at Fareham and Gosport Family Aid have helped 351 women and 21 men between November 2013 and October this year. They have also supported around 609 children directly or indirectly.

The service runs a women’s refuge in Fareham for nine women and their children and a refuge in Gosport for three women and children.

The refuges aim to get women into new homes of their own away from the abuser.

In the same period, they housed 48 women, 10 of whom were pregnant, and 69 children.

Women’s ages ranged from 16 to 75, and children helped were from babies to 16.

Alan Fryer is a community safety officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He sits on monthly meetings where agencies discuss ongoing cases of abuse.

He said: ‘From a fire service point of view if that person has a threat made against the victim saying they are going to burn their house down, we go around and make a fire safety assessment.

‘We seal off the letterbox to make it safe. I give fire safety advice to occupants.’

Members of the public also donated cash to help.