Home Secretary’s plan to tackle domestic abuse ‘an important step forward’, says APCC
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) says the new Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan unveiled by Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday (March 30) is “an important step forward in tackling this abhorrent crime”.
The plan aims to tackle perpetrators, prevent offences from happening in the first place and help all victims and survivors by improving the systems and processes that underpin the response to domestic abuse across society.
Government figures show around 2.3 million people in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the past year, and around one in five homicides were related to domestic abuse.
APCC joint victims leads, Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, said it was time to say “enough is enough” and to adopt a “whole system approach” to preventing domestic abuse from happening in the first place.
In a joint statement they said: “Domestic abuse causes devastation throughout our communities, destroying lives and causing high levels of harm to victims, their children and wider society.
“Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) already commission a wide range of specialist support services for victims of domestic abuse and we welcome the increased investment in this, enabling us to offer more support to more victims. PCCs have also been at the forefront of commissioning behaviour change programmes for perpetrators of domestic abuse.
“So it is encouraging to see the shift in focus taking the onus off victims and instead taking stronger action against perpetrators.”
They said the new investment of £75 million to fund perpetrator programmes will enable PCCs to build on the “positive work” that they have taken forward at a local level and scale it up more widely.
Ms Jones and Ms Linden added: “The focus on prevention is critical. It is only by working closely with schools, youth services and health professionals that we will be able to make the step change needed to break the cycle of domestic abuse in our society. PCCs are already working closely with local education and health partners to take this forward locally, including supporting healthy relationships programmes in schools.
“It is also vital that this plan aligns with the wider work of partners in this area, including wider work being taken forward to end violence against women and girls. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that victims are put at the heart of the system.”
The APCC is expected to publish its Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Action Plan shortly, which will focus on “delivering a system-wide approach to tackling and preventing VAWG, support PCCs to deliver quality services, hold police and criminal justice services to account and build public confidence in policing”.