Major Project to Tackle Domestic Abuse

Living Magazines Police and Crime Commissioner Mr David Lloyd

A major £3.2m project to tackle domestic abuse in Hertfordshire is being set up following a successful bid by the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire (OPCC).

The funding was secured from the Home Office and local partners and will be used to create a national leading ‘centre for excellence’ which will significantly contribute to safer victims and communities.

The joint programme with colleagues from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire, will run initially for two years and concentrate on delivering domestic abuse Perpetrator Referral services including an intervention delivery hub.

With £2m of central government funding and £1.2m secured in pledged funding from multiple local authorities it represents a transformational opportunity to address domestic abuse. This offending type can include spousal abuse, as well as abuse against children and parents.

Welcoming the news the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire David Lloyd said: ‘My Police and Crime Plan firmly sets out that the Prevention First strategy that it is far better to stop crime happening in the first place, than to catch and punish the offender after they have harmed a victim. This funding will enable us to take a major step forward in reducing the incidents of violence and abuse which happens behind closed doors.

‘This ambitious project will help towards our commitment to decrease the level of Violence Against Women and Girls, and also male victims and children. Previous work has also identified a significant need to help those parents and siblings who can be abused by young or grown up children.

‘This funding will enable the delivery of effective and integrated interventions, which includes early identification of abuse in all its forms, to either to stop or prevent an escalation of violence. I look forward to seeing this project get underway and the real difference it can make to the lives of some of our most desperate residents.’

Kevin McGetrick, Head of Victim Services and Commissioning at the OPCC, said: ‘Ideally we would not have victims of abuse in the first place and that is why a stated objective within the County Domestic Abuse Strategy is to “Act before harm.

‘This initiative, which we believe in its scope and ambition is ground-breaking, will seek to tackle head-on the root cause of abusive behaviour and is something victims themselves have been calling for.

‘It will see Criminal Justice and Healthcare professionals coming together to offer solutions to ingrained abusive behaviours whilst providing enhanced support for victims and their families.’

The project is being funded from a £39m Home Office scheme which will see 50 projects rolled out nationally over the next two years, supporting initiatives to stop abusers from repeatedly targeting victims and terrorising vulnerable people.

Many domestic abusers are repeat offenders with 83% of male offenders repeating their offences within a six-month period. This makes intervening to stop their pattern of behaviour paramount to protect victims.