A new sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for Bedfordshire has been heralded as a centre of excellence in the provision of facilities for victims of rape and sexual assault.
A standalone, purpose-designed facility, it contains two state-of-the art, fully equipped forensic examination suites which, while being technically compliant, are designed to put victims at ease by having a less clinical ambience than a hospital or medical centre. The centre also boasts tailored facilities for adults, teens and children, and working spaces for SARC staff and police officers.
But roll the clock back three decades and you’d see a very different landscape in the investigation of such cases, and in victim care.
This October we are celebrating the contribution of our Special Constables. Special Sergeant Barry Hayward tells us what it’s like to play a key role in policing a local festival, proving that although they are volunteers, Specials aren’t ‘hobby bobbies’…
“I’ve been a Special for six years, and get to be involved with a variety of things. One of the things I have most enjoyed this year was being ‘bronze command’ at Ampthill Festival earlier this summer – I have already requested to be involved in the same role again at next year’s event.”
“As bronze command I am responsible for the deployment of our officers at the festival; I have more responsibility but still get to be on the ground, getting involved.