The East Area Command Safeguarding team are a team completely dedicated to their job.
Safeguarding comprises of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse and child exploitation, some of the most challenging issues in our society and here, our East Area team excel in their dedication and commitment to their job.
The Havering Daily had the opportunity to talk to the team about the challenging work they do.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Yasmin Lalani explained that the team work closely with the local council in a multi agency safeguarding hub.
‘We meet every Thursday with the different councils from the local boroughs and discuss between 20-30 cases. It is vital that we all work together, we can’t do it alone so working in partnership is very important.
‘We have seen an increase in the number of reported crime on the domestic violence side, this can incorporate mental health aspects. However, it does show that people are more confident in coming forward and reporting crime. We are the first point of referral and from their we share the information with the relevant teams.’
Chief Inspector Maxine Blackledge said ‘We have noticed a slight increase in the work load but if you get it right the first time you can manage it and put plans into place.’
Paul Hallman added ‘The criminal justice system is slow and justice delayed is justice denied.’
Maxine continued ‘Our priority is keeping the victim on board, focused and willing. Sadly some of the decisions are out of our hands.‘
Yasmin added ‘We try and explain to the victims that we push it as much as we can and do everything in our powers to help them.
‘All safeguarding work involves long hours and we do our job with a lot of passion as we know we are protecting the most vulnerable in the community. You couldn’t do this job if you didn’t care.
‘We focus on the job at hand and help to make sure that people do not re offend again, help them to reform.’
Maxine said ‘Please help us and trust us, believe in us and come forward and report your crime. There is a lot of help available out there to help people.
‘Sadly at the moment it is taking up to 34-35 incidents before a victim comes forward. So if you have had a bad experience please come and speak to us we are here to help you.’
This team is totally focused and dedicated to their work, they spend long hours making sure that victims get the best support they can get and work their hardest to obtain the right convictions.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse or child exploitation or know someone who is, please report your crime, this team will do their very best to make sure justice is served.