'A Whole System Approach' is an innovative programme to tackle domestic abuse across eight police force areas in Northern England. The project, lead by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, is now being piloted across the region, following a successful bid to the Home Office's Police Transformation Fund.
The £7m project, developed with specialist domestic abuse charities and agencies has three central strands:
- Boosting police training about coercive control, effective development of strong court files to aid prosecutions and close partnership working with the Criminal Justice System.
- Improving 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.
- Multi-agency victim support and strong and innovative perpetrator management, ensuring significant consequences for perpetrators.
The project will continue until 2019 and it is planned that the eight forces will develop a regional Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse Strategy, ‘wrapped around’ this funded project, which will be the first whole-region strategy and will lead to strong mutual learning and close collaboration both in policing and across partner agencies.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Cleveland has had one of the highest domestic abuse incident rates in the country. We welcome this opportunity to develop and strengthen the partnership working in our area and across the North region. We will use innovative, multi-faceted ways in which to tackle this harmful, wide scale, and costly issue, and to deliver a better service for victims.”