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Detective receives commendation for work with families across Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:32 11 August 2020

Detective Anoushka Dunic - currently deployed with the Gangs Engagement Team across the East Area - has received a commendation for her work with families in Barking and Dagenham throughout 2019. Picture: Anoushka Dunic

Detective Anoushka Dunic - currently deployed with the Gangs Engagement Team across the East Area - has received a commendation for her work with families in Barking and Dagenham throughout 2019. Picture: Anoushka Dunic

Archant

A detective has been given a commendation for her work with families in Barking and Dagenham.

Detective Constable Anoushka Dunic — deployed with the East Area’s Gangs Engagement Team — has been recognised for her professionalism, dedication and collaborative work supporting the youth of Barking and Dagenham in 2019.

The officer, who has worked for the Met since the age of 21, did this by creating collaborative parent groups.

She said: “This wasn’t part of my job role but it was obviously missing from the work we were doing so I kind of made up a job for myself. It’s paid off for me and the parents!”

Det Con Dunic is keen to emphasise that this initiative was very much a joint effort; she co-ran the groups with Leigh Arscott from Barking and Dagenham’s Youth Offending Service.

The groups had a number of aims, each centred around safeguarding children and young people through having a better understanding of gang exploitation: “We discussed brain development in children and how trauma can lead to an unregulated fight or flight response which affects behaviour, and therefore can affect schooling, which may lead to exclusions.

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“We also discussed peer orientation and shared ideas on how we can improve attachment with our children and other tools to help them reinstate boundaries in their home.”

The groups proved a hit, with the officer still in contact with parents she met last year.

This rapport is vital, said Det Con Dunic.

“Parent engagement with police is proved as being a protective factor in safeguarding children, which is why the parent group is seen as promising practice.”

This promise led to these groups becoming educational assemblies, which have since progressed to form part of a national programme for Rockpool, an organisation that provides training for those who support people affected by trauma.

The groups have been similarly recognised in a report sent to the Home Office, alongside every police chief and safeguarding lead in England and Wales.

The detective desperately wants to take this work further; her greatest aspiration is to have the role of ‘parent engagement officer’ implemented in every BCU across the Met.

Though in its early stages, she is hopeful this will become a reality.


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