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Gloucestershire Business News

£1 million to target domestic abuse in Gloucestershire

Almost a million pounds has been set aside to protect victims from domestic abuse and stalking in Gloucestershire.

More than £750,000 will come from the Home Office over the next two years, with the remainder made up in match funding over the same period.

The money - £360k + £90k match funding this year, followed by £405k + £103k match funding in 2024/25 - is the result of a successful bid by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).

It will go towards the following interventions:

• Officer Involved Domestic Abuse Training - specialist training for Gloucestershire Constabulary to be aware of, accurately identify and deal with domestic abuse (DA) amongst officers and police staff

• Funding towards a Cautioning and Relationship Abuse (CARA) caseworker, administrator, inspector and independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA)

• CARA Hardship Fund

• Domestic abuse awareness training for health professionals across the county

• Expansion of the current Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme (DVPP), including awareness-raising activity

• Evaluation of the current DVPP in Gloucestershire, in year 1 and an evaluation of CARA, once established, in year 2

• Multi-Agency Tasking and Coordination (MATAC) co-ordinator - MATAC is the process of identifying and tackling serial and high-risk perpetrators of DA

Chris Nelson, police and crime commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: "This is hugely important. I have always made tackling men's violence against women and girls a priority. We've had success with gaining money through the Safer Streets Fund, and this extra money will also be put to good use to tackle the problem.

"It will give domestic abuse training to frontline health professionals - social workers, health care professionals, midwives, teachers and the like. They come into contact with many women, and it will teach these professionals to spot the early signs of domestic abuse - particularly difficult things to identify, like coercive behaviour.

"Many domestic abusers are repeat offenders, with 83% of male offenders repeating their offences within a six-month period. This makes intervening to stop their pattern of behaviour of paramount importance to protect victims. We have programmes to deal with them and try and change their behaviour.

"Most women don't report misogynistic-type behaviour for a variety of reasons. We have to be more alert to the problem and try and encourage women to talk about it, to identify the problem and report it, so we can take direct action against perpetrators."

Up to £39 million has been allocated to 50 projects across England and Wales to protect victims from domestic abuse and stalking. The Home Office DA Perpetrator Funding was for £300,000 minimum bids and had to have at least £25% match funding committed by PCC areas.

Only 27 out of 43 forces - with just two in the South West - were successful with their bids.

Image credit: Thousand Word Media

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