PCC urges the Government to target perpetrators in 'groundbreaking' Domestic Abuse Bill
West Mercia’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) is calling on the Government to tackle the root causes of domestic abuse by bringing forward a national strategy that targets the perpetrators.
Ahead of next week’s third reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill, John Campion has welcomed the Government’s leadership in tackling domestic abuse. However, he says there is an opportunity for the Government to take a stronger and more planned approach to targeting those causing harm.
Mr Campion says domestic abuse will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime, with an average of two women being murdered each week and 30 men a year. With these statistics not improving, a new approach is urgently needed, he said.
While the Government recognises the need for a more strategic approach to stop perpetrators repeating their crimes again and again, Mr Campion wants it to introduce a ‘perpetrator strategy’ now instead of the proposal to wait until after the pilot of Domestic Abuse Protection Orders.
By doing this, he says it will ensure the opportunity to combine the strategy with the Comprehensive Spending Review, which is expected in 2021, is not missed.
A ‘Call to Action for a Perpetrator Strategy’ was launched in Parliament at the beginning of the year and had the support of more than 80 organisations across England and Wales, including a range of police forces, PCCs, charities and academics.
“Domestic abuse is still the major crime and cause of harm in our community,” said Mr Campion.
“It is happening behind closed doors, with victims not being safe in their own homes. The Government can make this important change now before it’s too late and we find the already shocking statistics have increased.
“I have made a commitment to protect victims and survivors of crime and, as a society, the best way to do this is to effectively target those causing the harm.”
He added that while there is already some “great work taking place” to tackle perpetrator behaviour, including recent significant investment from the Government, there is more that can be done “to truly shine the light on this area of domestic abuse”.
“By tackling the problem at the root, we can reduce the number of victims by challenging and changing the behaviour of those inflicting the pain,” said Mr Campion.