Police chief urges joint approach against abuse

By Sandy Rashty, May 19, 2014
Cressida Dick with the JWA's Hilda Worth

Cressida Dick with the JWA's Hilda Worth

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told 300 Jewish Women's Aid supporters that communal groups had a responsibility to work with the force to tackle domestic violence.

Addressing a central London lunch that raised over £170,000 for the abuse charity, she said that the issue was not one for the criminal justice system alone.

"This is a problem for our society. There are challenges for victims in particular communities - even some Jewish communities. Working with JWA is absolutely vital."

She shared a harrowing experience from her days as a young inspector. Called to a flat, "there was a lady there and she had a hammer in her head. And that lady, as so many I'm sorry to say, did not want her husband prosecuted."

Ms Dick went on that "throughout my service, I have worked very closely with Jewish community groups, never more that I currently do in counter-terrorism".

Working with the JWA is absolutely vital

Outgoing JWA executive director Emma Bell, who will be succeeded by Naomi Dickson, paid tribute to the charity's volunteers and "brilliant staff team.

"Since I joined the organisation, we've doubled the number of women we support, we have our first worker in Manchester, we've increased our staff team by about 50 per cent, we've redesigned our refuge accommodation. We've expanded our work to schools to prevent domestic violence before it starts and we've also launched a fabulous training programme to make sure we work with communal professionals.

"What we're trying to do is relaunch our membership. We have a very ambitious plan, that every Jewish woman should join us in standing together against domestic abuse."

Last updated: 9:45am, May 19 2014