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Domestic Related Violence Reduces In Warwickshire

Between April and August 2009 domestic related violence has reduced by 31.2% compared to the same period in 2008, with 269 fewer people reporting a physical domestic assault.

DCI James Essex who heads up Warwickshire's Domestic Abuse Unit said "Domestic related violence - a major cause of harm - has been massively reduced as a result of effective police and partnership action and greater protection for victims is now being delivered.

Less violence is being reported across the county and the proportion that is domestic related has also reduced."

DCI Essex added "Domestic abuse whether physical, emotional, financial or sexual is totally unacceptable. We are taking 'positive action' in every case and arresting abusers wherever possible. All incidents are managed by the Duty Inspector. The incident cannot be closed until that officer is satisfied with the service provided."

Significant improvements have been made by police and partners to increase protection to victims from harm in Warwickshire. This includes increased staffing in the Domestic Abuse Unit, improved officer and staff training, vigorous incident monitoring and review processes, investigative improvements, and an expanded referrals desk.

We now monitor and review all domestic abuse incidents reported to daily at a tasking meeting bringing together senior officers from all areas of the force. This allows us to intervene more quickly and more effectively where needed thereby reducing the number of incidents as a whole, including possible repeat offences against the same individual."

Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs)launched in 2008 aim to increase the safety of victims and their children and reduce repeat victimisation. Working together in this way allows police and partners to increase the number of victims and children we are able to help by providing a long term coordinated response and at the same time ensuring families receive the maximum range of support and protection available to them.

"The Conferences also provide a framework for all agencies to manage the behaviour of the abuser. Together we will review their bail conditions, licence conditions, and also try to get them to take part in programmes to address their behaviour."

John Buckley, Clerk to the Justices, Warwickshire Magistrates Court said "The courts' understanding of the nature of and risks associated with domestic violence has increased through the training of magistrates, which is now an ongoing commitment, and by specialist domestic violence courts which are held weekly in each of our three locations; Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford upon Avon.

The specialist courts deal with every hearing in domestic violence cases, from the initial plea being taken, through to trials, and to final sentencing. Victims are supported at every specialist court by one of two Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs), who are trained in understanding the issues surrounding domestic violence. Warwickshire Magistrates' court is committed to supporting the reduction in domestic violence."

Earl Chiltern, VIP Manager said "Victim Information Partnership (VIP) directly supports victims of domestic abuse and provides other appropriate agencies with relevant information that ensures maximum support for individuals.

Protocols involving VIP, the courts, police, the Probation Service and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) provide victims with the right information at the right time by the right agency, reducing stress and anxiety on individuals and minimising the effects of re-victimisation.

Quality information supplied to victims of domestic abuse is tailored to their requirements, making their experience of the criminal justice system as comfortable as possible. Appropriate support is available until conclusion of the case and, where required, beyond."

Sue Ingram, Domestic Abuse Manager at Warwickshire County Council said "There is a huge amount of positive work being done in the county to encourage people who are being abused to come forward and seek help and to deter abusers encouraging them to take responsibility for their behaviour.

To be abused by someone you love or care about can have a devastating effect on people who do not know who to talk to about what is happening to them. That is why Warwickshire Police is working alongside 30 other public services and voluntary agencies including Warwickshire County Council as Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse to encourage victims of domestic abuse to talk to someone. We hope this campaign has encouraged more people to seek help and change their situation."

This campaign launched in June 2008 is still ongoing and anyone requiring more information about domestic abuse services in Warwickshire is encouraged to visit or call the helpline 0800 408 1552.

DCI James Essex said "We are really pleased with these results. The contribution that domestic abuse makes to our overall violence figures has reduced from 30% to 26%."

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