A MULTI-AGENCY approach and specific patrol cars have been put in place to stamp out domestic abuse across the borough.

With a partnership set up between Greater Manchester Police, Wigan Council, the NHS and independent Domestic Violence Advisors, funding has been secured for specific domestic abuse cars to be out on patrol and attend domestic incidents as they are reported.

The cars are said to have three simple aims; to respond to domestic incidents effectively and quickly, provide a well-rounded approach to safeguarding victim, and tackle perpetrators of domestic abuse immediately.

From July 2023, the Domestic Abuse (DA) cars have been working at full speed, enabling officers and IDVAs to promptly respond to domestic incidents, visit victims, offer enhanced support and swiftly deal with perpetrators.

By instilling confidence in victims, this collaboration also hopes to empower victims to choose their next steps, including pursuing legal action or evidence-based prosecution with unwavering support throughout the legal process.

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Chief Inspector Clare Anderson of GMP’s Wigan District said: “We are always looking at new and innovative ways we can work together across the district, the force and with our partners, and a lot of our initiatives would not have been made possible without them.

"In the past, we have introduced similar strategies, exemplified by the mental health car pairing officers with mental health specialists. Its successful trial has led to its adoption across the force, and I sincerely hope that this DA car will receive lots of positive outcomes and interventions resulting in a force-wide adoption in the future.

"The DA cars are now in action and having that balance of both a police officer and an IDVA responding to DA incidents is working extremely well, resulting in some already fantastic outcomes and interventions in our communities.

"This ongoing partnership is dedicated to enhancing lives in Wigan, but also developing our officers, getting them to engage further with other agencies and partners to foster knowledge sharing, skill growth, and build invaluable working relationships.

"I genuinely hope that the impact of DA cars will persist in helping vulnerable individuals across the whole borough of Wigan.”

Councillor Dane Anderton, portfolio holder for Police, Crime and Civil contingencies said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, providing domestic abuse support cars to residents who require this much needed support.This initiative reinforces the Place and Community Safety Partnerships wider, ongoing multi-agency work to tackle domestic abuse across the borough, and its already impressive results are testament to the significant collaborative work within the partnership.”

Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Council’s Assistant Director for Regulatory Services and co-chair of the Domestic Abuse Board added: “We know domestic abuse can take many forms regardless of gender or sexuality.

"It is our priority to ensure all residents can access the right help and support and understand the options available.By joining our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and police officers together, it will provide enhanced safeguarding to victims and their families at the earliest opportunity."

If you are affected by domestic abuse, you can get free and confidential help by visiting the council's website here.