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Merseyside Police release advice for victims of domestic abuse concerned about staying at home
The domestic violence lockdown is worrying Merseyside Police who are now encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 system. If people are not free to speak but are able to make a noise or press 55, it alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help and they can then connect to the police. For example, if you can only make a noise such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator. Mark Groves, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, comments on the initiative: During these extremely difficult times, we need victims of domestic abuse to be aware of every initiative that is available to help them. Many victims cannot speak on the phone or even use an app for fear of reprisals from their abuser, but if they can make a covert call to alert the police they are in danger this could save lives. Katha Lunt, experienced domestic abuse lawyer from our Liverpool branch, comments: The message from Merseyside Police is clear. Protection from domestic violence remains a priority during these difficult times. Domestic Violence helplines are reporting a significant increase in telephone calls and visitors to their websites. With the country on lockdown, there is a real risk those suffering domestic violence will feel they have no access to protective measures, at a time when they are being required to spend more and more time with the perpetrator of their abuse. We must ensure the message is received by those who require protection from domestic abuse; help is still available. Since the government’s restriction on all but essential travel, steps have been taken within the Justice System to ensure people continue to have access to urgent protective orders including Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. Here at National Legal Service Solicitors Liverpool, whilst working from home over… [...]
One of our clients was wrongly arrested in connection with a recent murder in Tooting. The client, aged 17, had been walking 50m away from his home when he and his group of friends were stopped by the Police. Our client was told that he matched the description of the main suspect and thereby arrested for murder. The murder had taken place 20 mins before our client’s arrest. Our client was sporting a distinctive ‘man-bun’ hairstyle which seemed to be the main feature identified by witnesses when describing the suspect. He had never previously been arrested before and both he and his family were understandably shocked by the gravity of the allegations against him.
Thankfully, he exercised his right to a lawyer and we were able to assist him throughout his detention at the police station, and ultimately secure his release. Even though he was released under investigation, it is highly unlikely there will be any further action against him. He and his family were relieved that the whole ordeal had come to an end (relatively speedily!) and were grateful to us for all our hard work. The police have since identified and charged the real suspects.
Head of Crime, Harun Matin comments
This case highlights the fact that good proactive legal representation at the police station can have instant results. The client clearly benefitted from the advice given to him and even though it was a stressful situation, what could have been a prolonged case was thankfully much shorter.
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