AS we enter the third week of the third national lockdown brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vitally important for us as a force to be protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

It has always been one of our main priorities since I have been Chief to do just that, but during a pandemic and with so many people isolated, I can understand how the vulnerable people in our communities must be feeling.

In particular, those suffering from domestic abuse. With rules on leaving the home, who we can meet with and where we can go, I can appreciate that those in an abusive relationship might be feeling like there is no escape for them, that they have nobody to turn to and that they have to endure further suffering.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The lockdown rules do not apply for those fleeing an abusive relationship, whether that be their partner, a family member or someone they are living with and we would urge you to seek help if this applies to you.

We are working tirelessly, as we have been through this pandemic, to signpost people to the places they can go to access help, whether that is contacting us directly on 101 or 999 if they are in immediate danger, or our fantastic partners at Swindon Domestic Abuse Service or Splitz Support Service.

We are here to help and to listen and you should never feel like you are alone.

I was heartened to see the launch of a new support scheme from the Home Office last week to offer another outlet for those suffering from domestic abuse to reach out.

Ask ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme where victims of domestic abuse can say ANI in a participating pharmacy or Boots store to let staff know that they require help.

However, it is only as good as the support it is given by pharmacies, who display posters to let customers know they can approach staff for help, and I would urge all pharmacies in Wiltshire and Swindon and help save countless lives.

Remember, if you are in an abusive relationship or are concerned someone you know is then call us on 101 or in an emergency, always call 999. Alternatively, call Splitz in Wiltshire on 01225775276 9am to 5pm every weekday or Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service on 01793610610 24/7 in Swindon and out of hours or weekends in Wiltshire.

For more information on Ask ANI and how as a pharmacy to sign up and access the resources, please visit or email

You are not alone.