PLANS to recruit and train more specialist PCSOs to be first responders to deal with domestic violence have been unveiled by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Jay Singh-Sohal.
It comes as grassroots community organisations dealing with the issue say police dealing with domestic abuse need to be better trained to handle sensitive issues as well as those within diverse communities.
Currently, police officers respond to cases of domestic abuse as with any crime.
During lockdown, figures show reported domestic abuse has increased by 41 per cent – and this follows year-on-year increases since 2011-12.
The number of domestic violence protection notices has also increased during lockdown.
These may be used following a domestic incident to provide short-term protection to victims but arrests have not been made.
Mr Singh-Sohal said: “Domestic abuse is an issue causing much concern in the West Midlands across many communities and we need a more joined up approach locally to help support victims as well as deter abusers.
“Under my plan I will ensure the force makes use of specialist PCSOs who’ll be trained as domestic abuse first responders and with a deeper cultural understanding of how to help those in need who often do not get any support because of stigma or fear of speaking out.”