AbuseFreeLife has the professional objective of influencing change both at the front-line and strategically by working with other agencies to challenge attitudes and ensure professionals are confident and competent to accurately and consistently assess risk, save lives and investigate in areas of Domestic Abuse, Coercive Control, Stalking, Adult and Child Abuse. Victims of abuse are at the heart of everything we do. Working to help you save lives.
John is a highly experienced detective, having served with the Devon and Cornwall Police for over 28 years and retiring as Detective Chief Inspector in 2016. He was responsible for the prevention and investigation of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child and vulnerable adult abuse. For the final four years of his police career he was the Force Lead for Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment, Forced Marriage, Honour Based Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults/Adults at Risk. He was a member of the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Safeguarding Adults Board. He is also an experienced Hostage and Crisis Negotiator and Coordinator.
John is an accredited and experienced Senior Investigating Officer and has worked and led on a number of serious and protracted investigations up to and including murder and in the later part of his police career, a number of high profile investigations in health-care settings.
John is a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) Chair and has sat on five different DHR panels and is currently (February 2022) chairing six separate DHR's and a Child Learning Panel Review. Nationally, he was a member of the HMIC National Working Group for Domestic Abuse. He has also completed the accredited three day Karma Nirvana Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage training.
John is the Brighton and Hove MARAC Chair and chairs the MARAC every Thursday.
As Director of AbuseFreeLife John provides expert consultation, and designs and delivers bespoke training for clients. He has trained police officers and representatives from other organisations around the United Kingdom on Domestic Abuse, Coercion and Control, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences, Honour Based Abuse and Stalking. He has lectured and spoken at a number of events including Exeter and Plymouth University, at the Department of Health National FGM Conference, the National Caldicott Guardians Conference, the National Stalking Conference, Coercion and Control Conference and presented to the Isle of Man Government (Tynwald) as they deliberate a new Domestic Abuse Legislative Bill and recently at the annual London Safeguarding Adults Board Conference and the national stalking conference.
John continues to work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse and stalking, helping them to navigate the sometime difficult pathways and blockages they come across when dealing with agencies and services.
Through partnering with operational leaders and process improvement, John has driven change to improve the experience, satisfaction and safeguarding of victims. He is a talented leader who is able to direct and motivate individuals to improve and achieve their organisational goals and objectives. He has a wealth of experience working in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations and a sound understanding of partnership priorities, competing agendas and organisational politics.
John is also an Associate with SafeLives, StandingTogether, RockPool, Solace Women's Aid and is the Brighton and Hove MARAC Chair on behalf of Victim Support.
Vashti began her career by completing a BSc in Psychology before going on
to work with young people leaving care undertaking life story work.
Shortly afterwards Vashti was successful in completing an M.A. in Social Work.
Vashti moved quickly into frontline Child Protection work in Local Authority settings
spending the next 20 years practising within statutory social work progressing
through the management structure to Head of Service. Within this post Vashti held
operational responsibility for the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub as well as the
frontline child protection teams.
An additional responsibility within this senior management position was as Principle
Social Worker where she took on the strategic role of improving the standards of
social work practice across the child protection system.
Whilst maintaining her substantial role in child protection, Vashti was able to take
advantage of an opportunity practising within a Safer Community team. This
experience, which included managing a team of IDVA’s as well as being the first
team to be trained in and deliver the Recovery Toolkit programme for domestic
abuse survivors [adults and children] informed and developed Vashti’s knowledge
and expertise in the field of Domestic Abuse.
Having taken the decision work as an independent consultant and trainer in July
2017, Vashti has successfully transitioned into this role over the last 18 months.
Vashti has provided improvement consultation and has completed safeguarding
auditing programmes for Local Authorities. As an expert she has delivered training to
a variety of agencies in relation to Safeguarding, Domestic Abuse and Adverse
Childhood Experiences. Vashti’s approach is from a trauma informed perspective.
Bridie started her career with Hertfordshire County Council working within Adult Social Care and managed teams of staff within various units, involving a range of different service user needs.
Bridie’s outstanding organisational and communication skills saw her achieve the position of Project Lead for the re-provision of day services within the St Albans area in 2006 whilst continuing in her role as assistant manager, within the day service.
In 2007 Bridie joined Hertfordshire Constabulary and used her management experience and experience within the care sector to good effect. She continued to work within various departments and roles within the police service both within Response Policing and the Criminal Investigation Department. She qualified as a Family Liaison Officer and took on several highly complex and sensitive cases in this role, including road deaths and the murder of a British citizen abroad.
In 2011, Bridie transferred forces, continuing her policing career within Surrey Police and working within a role of Force Advisor within the complex portfolios of Modern Day Slavery, Child Abuse, Adult Sexual exploitation, Human trafficking and Adult Sex Work. However, her main focus was within the portfolio areas of Domestic Abuse and Stalking.
Bridie left the police service in 2020 in order to devote her time solely to domestic abuse and stalking and is now using her Level 4 teaching qualification to good affect.