The Divisional Alcohol and Violence Reduction Unit or DAVRU, here in the north-east has a remit of tackling violent crime by investigating incidents of significant violence and carrying out preventative measures to try and reduce the risk of serious violence in our communities.
The unit is part of the Criminal Investigation Department and works both in uniform and plainclothes.
They work closely with other departments such as the Community Policing Teams, Licensing and the Proactive and Reactive CID and work across the whole of the north-east, so the day-to-day work can take officers all over the division.
We have four teams in the unit that provide coverage seven days a week.
Serious incidents of violence are often connected to people being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or to the illegal supply of controlled drugs.
It’s therefore important to work with partner agencies and licensees to help tackle the issues of alcohol and drug use and repeat violent offenders.
On a weekend or during a specific event, the DAVRU and CPT can generally be seen in uniform in and around the licensed premises across the division.
These high-visibility patrols are a great opportunity to liaise with the licensees and members of the public whilst deterring and diffusing any hostile situations before they escalate further.
I have worked in DAVRU for the past two years in Moray and it is a challenging role that can really test the investigative ability of the officers in the department.
We can have a range of ongoing investigations that can be relatively straightforward and take a day’s work or far more complex cases with less obvious lines of enquiry that can take months before there is sufficient evidence to report the circumstances to the Procurator Fiscal.
For many of the investigations the work doesn’t stop there.
Targeting drug dealing and drugs misuse
The majority of our cases are heard on a solemn procedure and require a significant amount of administration as the Procurator Fiscal prepares the case for court.
Incidents of violence also frequently occur due to the supply of controlled drugs.
These incidents can happen anywhere and at any time in the community therefore it is important that we disrupt the supply of controlled drugs by targeting drug dealing and drugs misuse in the community.
This can range from intelligence gathering in the community to executing drug search warrants or carrying out enquiries to evidence the criminal conduct of a suspected drug dealer.
As well as trying to reduce the supply of controlled drugs in the area, it is also important to try and reduce the demand by working with partner agencies to provide support to those whose lives are negatively affected by the misuse of controlled drugs.
The DAVRU are currently promoting the One Punch Campaign to remind the community that one punch is all it takes to change some one’s life.
A simple but effective message to avoid the regret that once punch can cause.