Met Police officers have donated hundreds of second hand clothes to a support centre for the victims of domestic abuse in Croydon.

Dozens of bags filled with toys and clothes – for babies, toddlers and young children – were dropped off at the Family Justice Centre (FJC) in Croydon, south London last week, the Met said Tuesday (April 28).

The clothes will be offered to women in need who visit the centre, some of whom fear going back to the family home and retrieving belongings for themselves and their children.

After learning that children's clothes and toys were running low at the Croydon centre, officers sought out hand-me-downs and donations from colleagues.

"We work closely with the FJC as safeguarding partners, and when we heard that children’s clothes were in short supply, we wanted to help," PC Mike Haines, from the South Area BCU Safeguarding Team, said.

“Within hours of asking colleagues to donate unwanted clothes, we had a huge amount packed up in bags in our office.

“We encounter domestic abuse victims on a daily basis and see the devastation these types of crimes cause.

"The FJC is a shining example of the excellent support being offered in communities across London through the coronavirus pandemic, and we will continue to support them," he added.

Your Local Guardian: The Government is facing calls from MPs for a full action plan to tackle a rising tide of domestic abuse since the coronavirus lockdown began. Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireThe Government is facing calls from MPs for a full action plan to tackle a rising tide of domestic abuse since the coronavirus lockdown began. Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Councillor Hamida Ali, Croydon Council's cabinet member for Safer Croydon and Communities, thanked the police for their support and highlighted the heightened threat of domestic abuse during the coronavirus quarantine.

“Our FJC works closely with the police to help protect people in Croydon, and I would like to thank everyone for their generosity.

“Lockdown presents an even more difficult period for anyone facing domestic abuse, and this offers real help for people whose home is not safe and who might be unable to return home to get their belongings.

“As part of our response, we’ve extended the opening hours of our FJC to seven days a week to offer more support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse – please call 0208 688 0100 if you need help," she said.

Reports in recent days have circulated suggesting instances of domestic abuse in the UK have risen sharply during the "lockdown" to slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

The much-anticipated Domestic Abuse Bill returns to Parliament for its second reading today (April 28).

The opposition Labour Party said Tuesday it wants the bill to include a dedicated fast-tracked fund for domestic abuse services affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Labour has outlined a set of proposals that would ensure a dedicated proportion of 10 per cent of the £750 million charity support announced by the Chancellor would be ring-fenced for domestic abuse charities.

The proposals would ensure a system is put in place to fast-track investment to the front line, before charities have to close their doors due to being oversubscribed or unable to pay their staff.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said: "It is clear that domestic abuse is increasing rapidly during the lockdown and we need the Government to act urgently to support frontline services.

"Our society must not turn its back on some of the most at-risk people in this crisis, too much time has already been lost and action is needed now.

"Labour's plan would deliver £75 million to the front line rapidly, to help keep women and children safe from abuse."

The Home Office meanwhile said recently the that £3.1 million will be given to specialist services for children affected by domestic abuse.