New Domestic Abuse Programme Up For Debate

Police, councils and other public bodies in Hertfordshire want to hear from you - just HOW should Hertfordshire tackle domestic abuse?

That’s the question the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership is asking as they publish a draft strategy for public consultation.

The strategy has been developed by the key agencies that deal with domestic abuse in the county, including Hertfordshire County Council, district and borough councils, the police, local health services and charities.  It aims to provide, for the first time, a common approach to preventing domestic abuse and providing proper support for victims where it has occurred. 

Residents can read and respond to the draft strategy at www.hertsdirect.org/dastrategy until 22 April 2016.

The strategy was launched Friday (January 22nd ) at the new specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) which started earlier this month.

The unit, which consists of a team of over sixty specialist police officers and staff, is based at Hatfield police station and will deal with domestic abuse cases from across the county.

The draft strategy aims to bring together all the organisations involved in tackling domestic abuse in a joint programme to keep women, children and men safe from domestic abuse. It includes commitments to:

  • Prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place by challenging the attitudes and behaviours which foster it, and intervening early where possible to prevent it
  • Reduce the risk to victims and ensure that perpetrators are held to account
  • Work in partnership to provide appropriate levels of support where abuse occurs

The plan is a direct result of the recommendations of a report into the state of domestic abuse services in Hertfordshire commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

Commissioner Lloyd said:

"I have made the tackling domestic abuse a top priority in my police and crime plan. The launch of this strategy is an important part of the process of delivering on that.  I am delighted that all of the key agencies in Hertfordshire are now working more closely together to deal with this horrible crime and I am confident it will result in fewer victims and better services for those who are affected."

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

"Some of the improvements we’ve made over the last year are already making a real difference. For example we’ve introduced a pilot programme to help men who abuse their partners change their ways and that’s clearly having a positive impact – so much so that we’re now expanding the pilot to other parts of the county at the same time as launching a scheme to help female perpetrators

We think this strategy will give us the solid basis we need to tackle domestic abuse together, but we’re keen to hear what the public think. I’d encourage anyone, whether they’ve been affected by domestic abuse or not, to let us know if what we’re planning is what they and their community need."

This strategy is part of a wide-ranging improvement programme that is helping to tackle domestic abuse in Hertfordshire, which has included:

  • Launching a new police unit dedicated to domestic abuse
  • Setting up a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
  • Increasing the number of specialist domestic abuse workers
  • Incorporating domestic abuse specialists into Children’s Services Family Safeguarding Teams
  • Appointing a new manager to coordinate the way different agencies commission services
  • Improving the strategic management and governance of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire

For help and advice on domestic abuse visit www.hertssunflower.org or call 08088 088 088

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