£7m joint project to tackle domestic abuse

Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove congratulating Dame Vera Baird on the successful funding bid to tackle domestic abuse across the North East.
Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove congratulating Dame Vera Baird on the successful funding bid to tackle domestic abuse across the North East.

Six police forces, including Northumbria, have won Home Office funding to tackle domestic abuse on a regional whole-system approach.

Northern Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have welcomed the news that a project first developed in Northumbria, by PCC Dame Vera Baird QC, has received almost £7million of funding.

The project will now be piloted across the region with six police forces involved, thanks to a successful joint bid to the Home Office’s Police Transformation Fund.

The initiative, called A Whole System Approach, which began last year and will now become operational across the area.

The project, developed with specialist domestic-abuse charities and agencies has three central strands, with the first focusing on boosting police training about coercive control, effective development of strong court files to aid prosecutions and close partnership working with the criminal justice system.

The second strand aims to improve information sharing and victim support across the criminal, civil and family courts, to avoid cases from falling through gaps and any risk of vulnerable victims being failed by a lack of supporting resource in the non-criminal courts.

The third strand covers multi-agency victim support and strong, innovative perpetrator management, ensuring significant consequences for perpetrators.

The project has won funding for three years and it is planned that the West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Humberside, Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria forces will develop a regional Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Strategy, wrapped around this funded project, which will be the first-ever whole-region strategy.

Northumbria Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said: “Domestic abuse and tackling it has been a priority for our force for some time and this project illustrates our commitment to building on our efforts. We’ve listened to victims and have responded to them with a joint approach and are pleased that our ambitions to grow this and help even more victims can be realised with this funding.”