Funding has been secured to tackle domestic abuse on a regional approach.
Officials at the Home Office have approved the bid for the project – first developed in Northumbria by Police Crime Commissioner Vera Baird – through its Police Transformation Fund.
In total, almost £7million will be spent to tackle domestic abuse across six north-eastern police forces in the pilot project.
The project, called A Whole System Approach, began last year and will now become operational across the North East and in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Developed with specialist domestic abuse charities and agencies, it has three central strands – focussing on boosting police training about coercive control, improving information sharing and victim support, and covering multi-agency victim support and strong and innovative perpetrator management.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “All our highly successful north-eastern police forces have officers with domestic abuse expertise but we recognise the need to reach out to other experts.
“That reaches from people who specialise in educating young people about relationships, training professionals in other fields better to understand domestic abuse, those who can help prevent abuse and support victims and those who deal effectively with perpetrators. We are pleased that we can also set about improving inter-court relationships for the benefit of complainants and speedier justice.”
Northumbria Police 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.”
Clare Phillipson, Director of Wearside Women in Need, said: “Our organisation always starts by listening to the people we deliver services to and most innovation and good practice comes from responding to the need and delivering what people want.
“We’re glad Vera Baird and Northumbria Police have reached out to us, as experts, and devised an approach that considers the whole picture and that, with this funding, it can be built on to improve and even save the lives of more victims.”