AN initiative that has helped reduce cases of domestic abuse in one town is now being rolled out across Northumberland.

Operation Aegis is a project dedicated to preventing abuse and supporting and empowering victims.

The scheme is a first for Northumbria Police and initially focussed on the area of Blyth Valley. It sees households who have reported domestic incidents assigned a dedicated PC or PCSO.

The officer, aided by one of the force’s victim and wellness support officers, works with the family to understand issues and identify support networks.

“We are fiercely passionate and committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and that includes victims of domestic abuse", said victim and wellness support officer Debbie Wilson.

“This initiative combines safeguarding victims and sign-posting families to wider support networks with an approach that sees victims designated an officer who they can continue to work with.

“This approach has been hugely successful in reducing domestic abuse within the addresses we have focused on. It results in fewer victims and reduced vulnerability.”

In the first cohort of 20 address, police measured the amount of calls in the three months prior against the three months after the Aegis principles had been deployed and found a reduction of 60 incidents.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse, you can report an incident by ringing 101 or visiting the Northumbria Police website.

In an emergency, call 999. If you dial 999 and are unable to speak, the emergency operator will ask you to dial 55 and to follow their instruction to quickly put you in touch with police.

If you are worried that your own behaviour may be harming a loved one, you can call the respect helpline 0808 8024040 or visit: