Before I retired, I was a broadcast journalist with a very demanding job and a highly developed work ethic. I knew I needed to have a role that would fill the gap in my life that my career was providing. I had been called for jury service in London and found the administration of justice compelling, so decided I would apply to become a magistrate.
During this national 16 Days of action on domestic abuse, we turn the spotlight on Bedfordshire Police’s Victim Engagement Officers.
“VEOs” aren’t police officers, we are specially trained members of police staff who are there to support the victims of domestic abuse. Quite often we get involved at the point when an offender is in custody, but can also be brought in once a complaint has been made, and the offender has not yet been arrested.
While police officers deal with the criminal aspects and investigation of a case, we are there for the victim; toprovide help and assistance with anything and everything at what will be probably the worst time in someone’s life.
When I was seven-years-old a group of older boys racially abused me telling me among other things to “go back to my own country”, but I was born in England and have lived here all my life.
They made me feel like I shouldn’t be here and it was deeply upsetting to both myself and my family.