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Domestic abuse safeguarding scheme wins global policing award

Operation Encompass, a scheme that helps support children exposed to domestic abuse scooped 'Overall Winner' at this year's World Class Policing Awards sponsored by Accenture. The awards aim to promote excellence in policing by sharing insight into the winning nominations. 

The pioneering project launched by Devon and Cornwall Police, took the title ahead of 53 other finalists drawn from more than 100 outstanding entries in the Awards.

The safeguarding scheme shares police reports of domestic abuse incidents where children were present with the pupil's schools before they arrive at school the next day.

Kirstie Hemming whose mother, Natalie was murdered by her abusive partner is a patron of the scheme. The investigation into Natalie Hemming's murder was featured in Crime+Investigations When Missing Turns To Murder. Speaking to the Mirror newspaper, Kirstie explained why Operation Encompass is so important for families suffering from domestic violence:

'If police are called to a house for dom­­estic violence, they have to let the school know. Teachers can then talk to the children and ask them if they’re OK. It’s really hard to go up to a teacher and tell them what’s happening, but if someone comes to you it’s much easier to speak out.'

A spokesman for the World Class Policing Awards said judges were 'really impressed and moved' by the nomination. He added: 'Operation Encompass deals with a perennial issue that happens behind closed doors, affects generations and has a pernicious effect on society.

'This was an outstanding example of collaboration with high impact among vulnerable children and a national reach. It was also good use of new technology. A relatively simple set of changes around information sharing, but combined with a very impressive focus on good quality training and informed by the latest research in terms of trauma informed practice.'