Millions more in funding for tackling domestic abuse

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Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer has today (11 May 2023) welcomed the news of four successful funding bids – worth over £3 million in total – to the Government’s Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Interventions Fund.

The funding will enable the Commissioner, Cheshire Constabulary and local partners to deliver several projects targeted at those who are most vulnerable and at-risk of domestic abuse, whilst ensuring their families get the support they need. In the main, the funding will be used to work with perpetrators of Domestic Abuse and change their behaviour, reducing reoffending rates.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said:

“It’s my job as Commissioner to look for every possible pound to improve the way we support victims and prevent crime in Cheshire, so it’s fantastic news that we’ve secured yet another vast sum of money from the Home Office to do just that.

 “Cheshire Constabulary is making great strides in tackling domestic abuse. Figures for 2022-23 show increases in the domestic abuse arrest, charge, and ‘action taken’ rates, and this funding will help the Constabulary to further support victims and prevent reoffending.

“We have developed strong foundations for this work over the last few years and this funding will enable us to maximise its impact, as well ensure the right support is available at the right time.

“I look forward to working with the Chief Constable and local partners to see that this latest significant amount of funding will continue to make Cheshire even safer.”

The funding will see the delivery of four projects across the entire county, focusing on domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and honour-based abuse and harmful practices:

  • Project CARA (Cautioning And Relationship Abuse) and Custody Intervention issues perpetrators of domestic abuse with a conditional caution – subject to the support of the victim – and allows them access to support to change their behaviour. The Custody suite intervention will see specialist support workers based in custody suites seven days a week, referring domestic abuse perpetrators to services and community behaviour change programmes when released from custody.
  • Engage and Reset are two innovative early intervention programmes, developed by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC), My CWA and Cheshire’s four Local Authorities. These programmes offer support for vulnerable victims and children, young people displaying signs of risky behaviour, and interventions for perpetrators of domestic abuse.
  • Extra funding for Cheshire Constabulary’s Harm Reduction Unit will enable specialist stalking prosecutors to be embedded in the unit – a first-of-its-kind approach in the UK. This will enhance support for victims, shorten the criminal justice process and allow more time for recovery.
  • A new support service will be introduced and delivered by Savera UK – a charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and harmful practices. They will focus on raising awareness of these crimes, educating schools and professionals on how to spot the signs, and supporting survivors.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts said:

“Tackling domestic abuse is one of our top priorities in Cheshire and we have made great strides in bringing more offenders to justice and safeguarding victims.

“Whilst a key part of this is taking positive action and securing charges against offenders, it also requires a broader approach with a variety of strands.

“Together with our partner organisations in Cheshire, we are engaged in a range of innovative and forward-thinking initiatives that are making a real difference to the lives of those who have suffered at the hands of family members and other perpetrators.

 “I am delighted that Cheshire has been able to secure this vital funding, which I know will really help us to tackle these abhorrent crimes in our county.”

These latest successful bids have seen the total amount of extra funding secured by the OPCC exceed £13 million in John Dwyer’s term as Police and Crime Commissioner, meaning every £1 spent on the OPCC budget has generated around £7.60 for policing, crime prevention and supporting victims.

Securing the funds is the first step and the OPCC will now look to work alongside the Constabulary and partners to mobilise quickly, ensuring support for those who harm to change their behaviour and in turn, improve the support available to victims and their families.