New scheme gives further help to domestic abuse victims in Sussex
Police tackling domestic abuse across Sussex can now give further help to victims by also enabling them to quickly access a locally-based charity.
The Daisy Chain Project (TDCP) specialises in advice and assistance in seeking civil court Protective Injunctions against domestic abuse perpetrators, including Non-Molestation Orders.
It has its own legal team consisting of experienced, qualified, and fully regulated barristers and solicitors who offer free legal support to men and women experiencing, or fleeing, domestic abuse. They are regulated by the Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority respectively.
This new service has been made possible by additional funding for the Daisy Chain Project provided by Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.
From July 2020 officers dealing with incidents involving domestic abuse are telling victims about this service and can refer them via the Daisy Chain Project app which is available on mobile police devices to download on the spot. More than 140 victims have already used the facility.
It has replaced two similar national support schemes which have been providing this type of service in Sussex, but which don't enable access to such legal advice at the local level which is what so many victims need.
Officers emphasise that this new local service is in addition to police investigations. Detective Superintendent Vanessa Britton of the force's Public Protection Command said; "It is important to be clear that our support for victims continues, from immediate response to urgent reports, and to criminal investigation, with forensic support where necessary and to prosecution wherever possible.
"We can also still give victims access to a range of other support and counselling services. But this new scheme works alongside us, giving that immediate and local approach to getting court orders where needed, to help further protect them while we investigate."
Jade-Shannon Patrick and Hayley Stoner from TDCP said: "We are really excited to have developed this app and get it on to officers' handsets, and we are enjoying being able to keep people safer, quicker."
Katy Bourne said; "I was pleased to recently provide an extra £23,000 to The Daisy Chain Project from my emergency Covid funding pot allocated by the Government.
“With this money they can continue to help victims access pro bono legal support to put in place robust safeguarding orders.
“The app they have independently developed is another innovative way that they are enabling their service to reach those in need quickly.
“It is also a great asset for Sussex Police officers who are coming in contact with vulnerable people every day who need access to practical legal advice.”
For more information on dealing with domestic abuse and how to report it see Sussex Police's website here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/
If you have been a victim of any crime you can find details of local help and support available to you here: https://www.safespacesussex.org.uk/