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Monday, June 10, 2013

North Wales Police launch specialist rape investigation team

From today, North Wales Police will bring together specialist staff from across North Wales to form one team dedicated to investigating rape.
This team will work closely with partners in the Crown Prosecution Service of Wales, Betsi Calwalder Health Board and third sector colleagues to form a cohort of rape specialists to be known as Amethyst Team. 

The team will be based throughout north Wales but make use of the SARC building in Old Colwyn to interview, gather evidence and support victims. 
It will work closely with partners in the Crown Prosecution Service of Wales, Betsi Calwalder Health Board and third sector colleagues.
Comprising a Detective Inspector, three Detective Sergeants, twelve Detective Constables, six Specially Trained officers and an analyst, Amethyst will also utilise its analytical capability to better understand offences of rape in North Wales and provide a proactive response to preventing rape and safeguarding those vulnerable to rape offences.
Any victim of rape aged under thirteen years and those under eighteen years offended against by family members will be assisted by specialist child abuse investigators within public protection units. 
Victims over thirteen years for non-interfamilial offences and all offences where the victim is over eighteen years will be assisted by Amethyst Team staff.
Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “Over many years we have striven to improve the service we provide victims of serious sexual offences and the Amethyst Team is just part of that on-going holistic approach. 
"Improving the well-established relationship we have with our partners in CPS, Health and the Voluntary Sector we are determined to ensure victims receive our full support and guidance through every stage of the Criminal Justice System. 
"Our five objectives are in setting up this dedicated team are:to provide a good quality of service to victims, to improve the investigations carried out by specially trained officers and dedicated detectives, to improve the Criminal Justice outcomes,to work smarter and more efficiently with our partners and finally to improve the confidence and trust the community have in the way serious sexual offences are investigated.
“Sexual Offences are under reported and I’d encourage any victims to come forward, you will be taken seriously, your complaint will be investigated professionally and you will receive the support of trained Police Officers, Crown Prosecution Lawyers and dedicated Counsellors from the Health Service all whom are core to the Amethyst Team.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick said:  “First and foremost we hope that victims will feel sufficiently confident to make a complaint to the police.  They may feel that they are criminals themselves or they may feel afraid to make a complaint, but unless they take that first step of making the complaint against the criminal, then the police cannot begin to solve the problem.”

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