Officers from Merseyside Police met with partners yesterday (Monday, 20 May) to discuss the protection of vulnerable people within Polish communities in the UK.
Representatives from a number of agencies including Liverpool City Council, the Polish Consulate, NHS and the Home Office attended the event to share expertise and raise awareness of issues within Polish communities, including domestic abuse and homelessness, and the barriers they face in the UK.
The event discussed the learning from eight Domestic Homicide Reviews involving Polish individuals to help prevent such tragic incidents in the future.
Detective Chief Inspector, Bev Hyland said: “This event has brought together representatives from a wide range of police forces and partner agencies leading to some positive discussions about how to best protect the most vulnerable in our Polish communities.
“We know that within Polish communities domestic abuse has a low reporting rate, which as we have seen in some cases can result in tragedy. I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to victims of domestic abuse and their family, friends or neighbours, and let them know that we are here to help and there is specialist support both within the police service and through partner agencies to help them.
“There is absolutely nothing to be feared by coming forward to the police and by reporting domestic abuse. I can’t stress enough that there can be serious consequences if domestic abuse is ignored or reported too late, as the research into Domestic Homicide Reviews shared in this event has highlighted. Our message to anyone who suspects domestic abuse is going on is to do the right thing and tell us so we can put a stop to it.
“There is plenty of help available not only from the emergency services, but a wide range of Polish charities and organisations too. Today we were joined by the Polish Consulate, the NHS Mersey Care Social Inclusion Team, the Whitechapel Centre and domestic abuse charity Vesta, all of whom gave talks on the fantastic work they are doing and the help available for Polish communities in the UK.
“Merseyside Police is focused on listening to those that are victims of domestic abuse and also to those that know victims who are experiencing domestic abuse. We want them to come forward in confidence so we can take positive action. No matter your race, religion or cultural background, we are here to help and will do our utmost to protect you.”
Anyone with information on domestic abuse can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Vesta, Specialist family support CIC – non-profit organisation supporting polish families in England and Wales through delivery of specialist services relating to domestic violence, parenting and emotional wellbeing.
Mersey Care Social Inclusion Team https://www.merseycare.nhs.uk/our-services/physical-health-services/social-inclusion-team/
Their role is to create knowledge of health and care services among vulnerable and excluded people, living in Liverpool to encourage access to those services. They use their experience, knowledge and skills and work closely with other professionals and agencies to open up access to care services.
The Whitechapel Centre https://www.whitechapelcentre.co.uk/
The Whitechapel Centre is the leading homeless and housing charity for the Liverpool region. They work with people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation and are committed to helping people find and maintain a home and learn the life skills essential for independent living.
Polish Embassy in Manchester https://manchester.msz.gov.pl/en/
The Polish Embassy deal with the consular protection of the Polish nationals as well as legal matters, including care proceedings.