Police delighted by Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton workers after checks to see how they would help domestic violence victims

Businesses in Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton have been hailed for their care and kindness after staff stepped forward to protect potential victims of domestic abuse.
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The Batley and Spen Neighbourhood Policing Team said it was delighted by the response of store staff and bus employees after a plain clothes officer conducted assessments of the support offered by Safe Zones in Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton.

In the operation, an officer attended supermarkets in Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton to see how Safe Zone trained staff would react if presented with a person saying they were a victim of domestic abuse and needed help.

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Staff at the three supermarkets visited all immediately took the officer to a safe location and then called 999 to alert the police.

Police wanted to know how well staff would deal with victimsPolice wanted to know how well staff would deal with victims
Police wanted to know how well staff would deal with victims

The officer also boarded a bus where she told the driver her partner was following her and had taken her money and phone.

The driver immediately told the officer to get on the bus and took her to the next station and dropped her off near a police van.

Safe Zones themselves are areas where a woman or child should be able to step off the street if they feel they are being followed until the risk has passed, or they might wish to charge their phone and call a friend or parent.

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More than 240 zones now operate across Kirklees with training provided to those staffing them about how to provide initial support to those who come in to seek help.

Other activities in Batley and Spen durign a targeted week of action has included engagement events in order to spread awareness of the support available to victims of domestic abuse.

Inspector Charlotte Nicholls. from the neighbourhood policing team, said: “Victims of domestic violence are often controlled by their partner who isolate them from family and friends and their only outlet to reach out could be the supermarket they attend or a bus driver.

“We really are delighted by the exceptional response shown by staff in the supermarkets and on the Arriva bus service when presented with people at risk .

“We fully realise it is not easy for victims to make that first call to the police, but this operation confirmed that there are always people who are there to help.”