This is the archived version of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. To view the new website click here
Banner Image

Northumbria Police help veterinary surgeons to spot signs of domestic abuse

21st July 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed new training being offered by Northumbria Police to north east veterinary surgeons as part of a crackdown on domestic abuse.

Commissioner Baird has been a long term campaigner against this issue and has given her support to a one-day course in which the force’s Detective Chief Inspector Deborah Alderson, an expert on domestic abuse, will be a key speaker.

The event, taking place at Newcastle University on Tuesday, July 21, is aimed at creating an understanding of the link between domestic abuse and non-accidental injury in animals.

It is part of the Domestic Abuse Veterinary Initiative (DAVI), which has been developed by charities including Medics Against Violence (MAV) and Crimestoppers.

Commissioner Baird, said: “It’s great to see that once again Northumbria Police is raising awareness of the issue of domestic abuse, which impacts on both men and women, and is working hard to put a stop to it.

“It is well known that an abusive partner will often abuse companion animals as well and sometimes will threaten to kill or torture them to keep their human victim in line.

“It is also very important that we remember that domestic abuse isn’t just an issue for the police. We need people from a broad range of professions such as dentists and vets to be aware of the signs and work together so concerns can be raised safely and we can stop all forms of domestic abuse in its tracks.”

Detective Chief Inspector, Deborah Alderson, will be speaking at the event to provide advice on how to spot the signs of abuse and what to do about it.

She said: “Veterinary team members may, from time to time, be presented with animals that have suffered appalling abuse but they don’t always feel they are fully prepared to deal with it.

“Vets liaise closely with the public and their pets, coming into regular contact and often building strong relationships. It could be that the tell tale signs of abuse are staring them right in the face.

“Individuals who hurt and neglect animals are often likely to hurt and neglect people too.

“This training will help educate those working in the field so we can work together to safeguard the vulnerable from abuse.”

Other speakers at the event include Freda Scott-Park, The Links Group; Paula Boyden, Dogs Trust; and Christine Goodall, Medics Against Violence.