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.
It’s June 2018, and I’m getting ready to host a charity football match on Sunday (10 June). What’s so special, you might ask, but match day marks the one-year anniversary of my escape from a very unusual situation.
At 4.20pm on Saturday, 10 June 2017, following a 999 call from my worried neighbours, police officers came to my home and arrested my girlfriend for grievous bodily harm, putting an end to months of abuse and suffering, and, I do believe, saved my life.
I was born in Luton and have always lived and worked in Bedfordshire. I was proud to join my local force, Bedfordshire Police, in 1990 to serve my community and to try and make a difference.
My parents owned a sports shop and wanted me to take over the family business, but I always knew that I wanted to be a police officer having been brought up watching TV programmes like Juliette Bravo and Cagney & Lacey; tough female role models who always managed to protect the public and lock up the baddies.