A CAMPAIGN to tackle violence against women has moved up a gear.

North Wales Police are standing in solidarity with the global White Ribbon initiative by placing special window stickers in all 250 of their vehicles to help raise awareness of the issue.

The move has been championed by Strategic Domestic Abuse Officer PC Mike Taggart, 37, who was inspired to join the police after his mother was stabbed to death in 1997 by his stepfather Derek Evans at his home in Rhyl when he was 15 years old.

PC Taggart said: “The trauma that my family went through is one of the things that pushed me to the job to help people who are victims of domestic abuse.

“North Wales Police has been very proactive in this area and there has been a renewed determination to tackle domestic violence since Arfon Jones became the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Mr Jones is also keen to become a White Ribbon Ambassador which shows he is very passionate about the issue.”

Tackling domestic violence is one of the main priorities in the commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, the blueprint for policing North Wales, and he has provided funding for the campaign.

Mr Jones said: “By having these White Ribbon stickers on all police vehicles more people will see what they can do to address the issue of domestic violence and to spread the word that it’s unacceptable.

“There are signs that people have more confidence to come forward now and that’s an important message to get out. Increasing numbers of survivors are reporting it, and victims are coming forward. That’s positive. We encourage people to come forward instead of suffering in silence.”

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, is also supporting another scheme to offer free training for hair salon staff across North Wales to raise awareness and help them recognise signs of domestic abuse.

PC Taggart added: “I am grateful to him for providing funding for the White Ribbon stickers and for his support for the hairdressers’ campaign.

“He has been extremely proactive in highlighting the campaign and making sure people know what the signs are and how to promote coming forward, and how to help police endeavours to tackle it.”

The service at the North Wales Victim Help Centre is available from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.

It can be contacted by freephone on 0300 3030159, by email at northwales.helpcentre@victimsupport.org.uk, or via the websites victimhelpcentrenorthwales.org.uk or canolfangymorthiddioddefwyrgogleddcymru.org.uk