A further 500 schools in the northern and western areas of Northern Ireland are joining Operation Encompass, bringing the total to 960.
The programme involves police alerting a child’s school by 9am if they had attended a domestic abuse incident the day before where the youngster was present. That enables children to have emotional support from trusted adults, if required. Information shared by police is treated in strict confidence.
Since the start of a pilot scheme at the beginning of the 2021 school year in Northern Ireland’s southern and south eastern areas, police have attended 1,659 domestic incidents with 3,111 children exposed to domestic abuse as of end-January this year. This has resulted in 2,137 referrals by officers to schools’ designated teacher.
The rest of Northern Ireland is due to be covered by Operation Encompass by this summer.