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 spoke to Isaac the day before he died, and I was due to see him that weekend.
One minute he was there, and the next minute he wasn’t.
I got the clothes he was wearing back and some bits and pieces from his car. That was it.
That’s what people don’t realise about knife and gang crime.
When it comes down to it, whether you’re shot or stabbed, if you die, there’s nothing left for anyone, for your family to remember you by.
For a lot of these youths it’s all about being the big man on the street and impressing their peers.