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Claire Furness

Communities Liaison Officer - Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit

I am PC Claire Furness and have been working as a Police Officer with Thames Valley police for the last twelve years. I started my career as a response officer in Aylesbury and quickly identified my passion for investigating domestic abuse. In 2013 I began working as a neighbourhood officer for central Aylesbury which gave me scope to do community based work on domestic abuse and I was able to set up drop in sessions around domestic abuse working closely with Women’s Aid. This was really beneficial to the user opportunity to get information and support around the topic out of crisis and was very well received. In 2016 I then moved over to Milton Keynes on the newly formed Problem Solving Team whereby my sole focus was working with domestic abuse victims and their perpetrators and support demand reduction within Milton Keynes. I worked closely with Bletchley College developing a pilot Cut it Out project, with the aim of supporting students and local businesses in the hair and beauty industry around the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse. One hundred and sixty people attended the pilot event in Milton Keynes and to date the work is still being delivered within that college. In 2020 I was given the opportunity to act as Sergeant on the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit and this is where I was able to work with Mark Burrows from Activate Learning to take the Cut It Out project to the next level and together we developed an online training package. I’m a firm believer in working partnership with my colleagues in the education sector in a bid to educate and reduce risk. Through this great work we attracted the support of internationally known hair dresser Nicky Clarke whom supported the project. Nicky and I appeared on Sky News and this gained national media traction.  I am due to move over to the Domestic Abuse Unit at Milton Keynes police station in December 2021 as a Detective Constable where I will continue providing specialist support to our highest risk victims.