SmartTag Introduced to Help Support and Protect Domestic Abuse Victims
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A new safeguarding measure is being introduced to help support officers in protecting victims of domestic abuse.
SmartTag, a forensic water which can be used in evidence to help convict domestic abuse perpetrators, is now being used across the Cleveland area.
When sprayed, SmartTag releases a stream of uniquely coded liquid to accurately forensically tag offenders from a distance. The solution is invisible to the naked eye but glows red under UV light and can remain on clothing indefinitely and on skin for up to a month. This can identify an individual as being at a specific location when tagged.
Using the spray is hoped to reduce the number of domestic abuse repeat victims, bring offenders to justice, improve confidence and improve the partnership approach to protecting victims.
To begin with, the spray will be deployed to support civil orders only, such as non-molestation orders, restraining orders, stalking protection orders, but will also be considered for cases where there are repeated breaches of bail. It could potentially also be used where orders have not been granted by the courts.
The launch of the kit coincides with supporting 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, a campaign led globally by United Nations.
Detective Inspector Rebecca Harland from Cleveland Police Domestic Abuse Unit, said: “This piece of kit which we can now use to help support us in protecting victims and securing evidence against offenders is another step forward in safeguarding vulnerable people.
“Our priority is always to safeguard victims and prevent further incidents of abuse by bringing those responsible to justice, and supporting and empowering victims to have the confidence to come forward and report incidents to us. We hope that this new piece of kit can support and compliment our work in doing all of that.”
In all cases:
The victim must be engaging with police or partners as this initiative requires action from the victim in order to work.
The perpetrator must be warned that forensic marking is being used at the address, but the specifics of this will not be shared.