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2nd Jun 20
A team is being set up by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to take a new approach to tackling domestic abuse in Northamptonshire, increasing the amount of support available and enabling agencies to intervene early to protect victims and prevent crime.
Police and organisations such as the Sunflower Centre work together to tackle abuse and prioritise the most serious domestic incidents and those where the risk to the victim is greatest.
With domestic abuse and violence making up 15% of all the crime in the county (9,160 incidents last year), there has been no capacity to look in detail at the lowest level of incidents. This means that the opportunity to intervene at an early stage and prevent behaviour from escalating is lost.
Now a new team of trained domestic violence advisers will be embedded with police specialists and other partners in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.
This team will review every domestic incident reported to police each day and assess the level of risk in each incident from a multi-agency perspective. They can then quickly step in to provide victims with the most appropriate help and support at the earliest opportunity.
This new approach will aim to stop behaviour that could escalate and prevent crimes and harm to victims.
The new team will also increase the resources available to deal with any increase in domestic incidents as a result of the covid 19 lockdown – where an increase of 7% has already been recorded.
This approach has operated as a trial in Northamptonshire for the past three months and was found to help agencies identify issues and tackle them at an early stage.
Recruitment is now underway to create seven posts, which is being established and funded by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and will be embedded with police specialists and other partners in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.
Stephen Mold said: “Domestic abuse and sexual violence are a significant issue for Northamptonshire and take a terrible toll on families in this county. We know that that there has been a gap in the service available to support people after less serious incidents and I am pleased that I have been able to provide a solution to that.
“Anything we can do to improve the response to victims of domestic incidents and to intervene early to stop crime from happening will make a real difference to the safety of Northamptonshire.”
Detective Andy Glenn, Adult Safeguarding lead for Northamptonshire Police, said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for the force. This new team will help ensure we share information with our partners quickly, are able to assess risk more effectively and take action before the abuse escalates further.
“This will mean we are able to respond rapidly and offer early support for affected families and identify any child safeguarding issues so children are also better protected. I am delighted we will be able to offer an improved service to the people of Northamptonshire and firmly believe the new team will mean more people are made safer at the earliest opportunity.”
The new initiative is one of a significant package of measures that has been introduced to tackle domestic abuse in Northamptonshire, including funding for a pilot project – Project Pipa – where offenders in certain domestic abuse incidents are given a conditional caution if they agree to take part in a programme that helps them gain an insight into their behaviour and reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend, and funding for Northamptonshire Police to run an intensive programme to manage high risk domestic abuse perpetrators who have a long history of abuse against multiple partners.
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