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The Duchess of Cornwall praises the work of staff at The Met Police and CYP Haven on helping victims of abuse

25th January 2018

The Duchess of Cornwall visits CYP Haven

The Duchess of Cornwall visits CYP Haven

The Duchess of Cornwall visited a centre in south London, where young victims of sexual abuse are offered a range of support including forensic medical examinations, follow-up sexual healthcare, and access to child psychology and advocacy services.

It is one of three specialist units across London - known as Havens - run by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, caring for victims of sexual assault. This is the only one to have a section dedicated to children and young people.

Her Royal Highness was given a guided tour of the department by consultant paediatrician Dr Andrea Goddard and was shown the room where examinations are carried out and was told about a pioneering interview technique.

Last week for the first time an interview with a child abuse victim was carried out by a child psychologist instead of a police officer, who oversaw the gathering of evidence watching from a control room.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who for a number of years has been supporting the work of the police and other professions who deal with sexual assault, praised the work of staff: "I think the thing is about rape and sexual abuse, people don't really want to address it, nobody knows about the wonderful work people do behind the scenes. That's why

you should all be applauded for all you do. You don't get enough acclaim. "

Later in the day, Her Royal Highness visited the Met Police offices in Lambeth, which uses the latest global tracking and location capabilities to help police locate the person in distress and provide a rapid response.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has described domestic abuse as a "pernicious problem" as The Duchess of Cornwall was shown innovative technology keeping victims safe.

Sat at a desk with communications supervisor Steve Vaughan, The Duchess watched as he responded to the fictitious alert which brought up a woman's location and showed the criminal record of her partner and his car details.

Her Royal Highness said to the Met Commissioner: "Just seeing it is believing - very impressive."

Since it was launched in the UK in 2011, TecSOS has been adopted by 40 out of 43 UK police forces and has given more 13,000 high-risk domestic abuse victims added security and been activated almost 1,900 times.

The Duchess of Cornwall praises the work of staff at The Met Police and CYP Haven on helping victims of abuse

The Duchess of Cornwall praises the work of staff at The Met Police and CYP Haven on helping victims of abuse

At the end of the visit the Met Commissioner gave a short speech: "It means an enormous amount to us that you're taking such a keen interest in the issues of domestic violence, which of course remains a really pernicious problem in our society and in London and something we in the Met take incredibly seriously.

"And I think there are lots of signs we are getting better and better and better at dealing - from a police point of view - but there is so much more to do, and the fact you're so interested in this subject and have met colleagues working with the new way of protecting people is really appreciated."

In response, The Duchess praised the work of staff who take emergency calls from those in need: "I'm thrilled to have come today, I've learnt a lot.

"I see how much work and how much time goes into it all, and the pressure, the pressure all of you must feel - I'm astounded by all the work you do and I can only congratulate you all, you do us all a tremendous service, I don't know what we'd do without you."