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To be fed up with local "beat bobby"

(16 Posts)
OhWesternWind Thu 02-Jun-11 22:46:55

I am feeling really let down by the local police. I have been assessed as at medium risk of continuing violence from ex (previously violent to me and children) who has also been harrassing me by text, phone, e-mail etc and then let himself into our house whilst we were out.

This was the last straw and I reported the harrassment to the police. Was referred to the local "beat bobby" for our village, who knows ex quite well from when he lived here. Told him the story and lo and behold he starts saying "Well, I can't believe that XX would do something like that" - to which I said something inane like "Well, you can never tell can you?". He then phoned ex and told him to stop contacting me, fair dos.

Policeman came round to supervise ex removing some furniture from the house. Ex was still refusing to give back keys to house, and (fair enough I suppose) police would not even ask him to give the keys back as "it's a civil matter". I told police I was frightened of what could happen and that I felt really vulnerable as a woman alone with two children knowing a violent man (previously known to the police for violence against me) could let himself into our house at any time. Police just said "Well, what do you expect me to do?" and then to top it all asked ex to give him a lift back to the police station and off they drove together all friendly and joking.

This was a week ago now and I've not had any contact from police to see if I am okay. I am feeling really let down and as if local bobby is just siding with ex and treating me as a hysterical and exaggerating woman. This has really upset me but not sure if IABU as my judgement is a bit skewed here.

NellieForbush Thu 02-Jun-11 22:50:36

Hope someone comes along who can help you OP. This doesn't sound right at all. I would hope the police would be at worst impartial or even 'on your side' given the history you describe. But it sounds a bit like a joke. I wouldn't be happy and would probably look into ringing his superior.

northerngirl41 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:53:01

Could you not just change the locks yourself? They aren't very expensive and it's relatively easy to do (you just need a screwdriver to change the barrel).

I can see his point - his job is not to take sides but to keep the peace. And by making sure DH is calm and removed from the premises, that's what he did.

Birdsgottafly Thu 02-Jun-11 23:16:22

You should have been refered to a local support group, for support and advice, a bit like when victim support is automatically generated after a crime. They have responded by placing you under 'medium risk' that will give you a quicker response time should you need to phone them.

In terms of handing the keys back it depends on whos property etc it was and without legal proceedings then the police are correct on that. I am also wondering why you haven't just had the locks changed.

When you say 'known to the police' for violence towards you, did you have him charged and was it proved?

PaddingtonStare Thu 02-Jun-11 23:22:13

Should the domestic violence unit (or whatever they're called these days) not have been involved and in contact with you?

Other posters will be far more up to date and knowledgable but when I had a similar situation I was referred to the DV unit, who were very helpful and supportive. It may be an idea for you to call your local station and ask to speak to them.

sunshineandbooks Thu 02-Jun-11 23:33:02

I would seek clarification from his superior about where you stand in terms of protection and tell them what you have said here. You can use the feedback to decide if you wish to complain or not.

I was the first woman to press charges against my XP (though I have since found out about his very long history of violence), so he wasn't even 'known' and yet my experience was very, very different to yours. The police were fab.

I was given a domestic violence liaison officer to speak with directly and I was questioned about the effect my experience had on me, how scared I felt about the future, what I expected to happen and what I thought they could do to help etc. I was also given the number of victim support.

The big thing that stands out here is the PC saying "Well I can't believe XXX would do something like that." That is bang out of order and suggests either that he is letting his personal friendship get in the way or he actually thinks that domestic violence is not that big a deal. Either way, with that attitude he should not be the first port of call for a victim of domestic violence.

Stangirl Fri 03-Jun-11 07:46:32

The police should be much more helpful than this. Get in contact again and ask to speak to someone more senior. Write a letter of complaint direct to the Chief Constable and copy it to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Phone Women's Aid.

controlpantsandgladrags Fri 03-Jun-11 08:37:58

The PC was absloutely out of order with what he said. Can you not just get the locks changed?

SardineQueen Fri 03-Jun-11 08:51:25

I don't agree that it was neutral of the policeman to say that he didn't believe the man could do something like that and then cadge a lift of him and go off chatting merrily.

OP I don't think that sounds right either but also don't understand why you haven't changed the locks?

OhWesternWind Fri 03-Jun-11 16:15:12

Thanks for all your replies - I was told that I legally couldn't change the locks as his name is still on the mortgage (that's another story)!

I think it's the DV unit who have assessed me as medium risk - they came round and filled in a form with me where I had to answer a load of questions. (This was after I phoned for advice and logged an incident for the first time he started on all the harrassment, but I didn't take it any further at that time eg getting the police to speak to him). They then passed this on to the local station as apparently it's up to the local officers to follow this up and provide appropriate assistance/support/whatever. It actually took over a month and three chase up phone calls for me to get the local PC to contact me in the first place.

I really have the feeling that he doesn't take this at all seriously. My ex has a history of violence towards me and particularly my daughter and also has a history of significant mental health problems and I can't see why they won't treat it more seriously. I'm almost wondering if I'm making a fuss about nothing but I know deep in my heart that ex could cause a lot of trouble for us.

Ex wasn't charged previously - the police took him away when I called them and then just let him go again, no follow up with me at all, he just appeared back at the house later in the day.

nickelbabe Fri 03-Jun-11 16:19:16

You can legally change the locks because he doesn't live there - it's your house and you have the right to enjoy living there without fear.

Talk to Women's aid,

and definitely talk to the poilce about having a different policeman assigned to you - the policeman should be at the very least impartial, and not a friend of the man who he's assigned to protect you from.

nickelbabe Fri 03-Jun-11 16:25:27

I found this thread that has experience of the same sort of thing (changing locks)

and this one, which deals specifically with landlords/tenants, but you can apply the same rules here

nickelbabe Fri 03-Jun-11 16:26:04

this law page says you need to get an injunction to do it though

ScousyFogarty Fri 03-Jun-11 16:36:50

Keep at it. Hes paid to do the job.

LineRunner Fri 03-Jun-11 16:44:49

The person who asked you the questions for the form will likely have been a response officer. They report the 'threat level' in to the Domestic Violence Unit, but it's just a tool of risk assessment. It can and should be re-addressed in your case.

You need to insist on making a report to the Domestic Violence Unit(or 'Domestic Abuse Unit') of your local police command unit. Look in the phone book and get the main Constabulary number and ask to speak to your local DVA co-ordinator or someone in their team. Tell them that you feel threatened. Just tell the truth about how this is buggering up your life and your freedom of movement and your right to a life free of harassment and threats.

You can and should change the locks asap.

You have had by the sounds of it a very shit service that is not usual.

Birdsgottafly Fri 03-Jun-11 21:27:46

OP -You need to start legal proceedings to formally show that you are separated. You shouldn't change the locks in theory but do it anyway. You need legal protection under the law both physical and financial. If you donot do this then as far as the police are concerned then you are not actually separated. If there are any incidents make sure that you insist that it is treated as a criminal matter.

Is your ex your DD's bio dad and have you told the school that only you should be picking your DD up?

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