ESSEX Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston has spoken out against domestic abuse.

Mr Alston said there are numerous forms of “hidden harm” suffered by people through the county and the rest of the UK.

In a statement he said there are many types, including victims of female genital mutilation and other so-called honour-based abuse.

Mr Alston said: “There are far too many people experiencing intimate terrorism, often from the people they should be able to trust most.

“Very often victims are hidden in plain sight - people we sit next to on the bus or pass on the street, but who exist in their own private prison, without the support or confidence to speak out.

“In the coming months my team and I will be working with Essex Police and partners to develop a more robust strategy for dealing with these types of hidden harm.

“We can only tackle these issues in partnership and we will work diligently to improve the communication, information sharing and partnerships which will allow us to identify victims, provide better support to them, and deliver tougher outcomes for perpetrators of these hidden harms.”