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Tackling domestic violence - Staffordshire must improve, says PCC

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

By Alison Thomas

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Staffordshire police have "room for improvement" in the way they tackle domestic violence, the county's police and crime commissioner has said.

Responding to this week's Inspectorate of Constabulary report, Matthew Ellis said: "The areas examined show that while the police in Staffordshire are doing some good work there is room for improvement. My Office has been working closely with the Chief Constable and Force, as well as other public services, to ensure plans developed to improve the way domestic abuse is tackled are delivered.”

Public services across Staffordshire, including the police, are in the middle of a complex project to ensure public money is spent in a more coordinated way. The aim is better service and support for victims of domestic abuse.

Deputy PCC Sue Arnold is overseeing the reform of services so that the individual needs and circumstances of victims of domestic abuse are recognised better.

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Mrs Arnold said: “The Commissioner’s Strategy, published in 2013, set out tackling domestic abuse as a priority for policing and other services. We’re determined to make sure that happens.

“Work is already under way through new investment and better systems that will see all victims of any crime in Staffordshire offered support. Victims of domestic abuse will receive better specialist support, through Victim Support and other specialist providers, than ever before, which is exactly what they deserve.”

"Putting the victim first is our top priority. By April 2015 all victims will have one joined-up agency taking on the responsibility for providing a clearly mapped out support route for victims of crime.

"But the best support for victims is to stop the crime from happening in the first place, or at least intervening earlier. For domestic abuse particularly that requires greater understanding of those at risk who are often known to public protection agencies already."

That means better joint working and a £18 milion investment in information sharing between services to help protect those who are vulnerable.

“More work needs to be done to improve the way all victims of crime are kept properly informed about progress of investigations. But often it’s the trauma of the Courts process which needs better support, and particularly for those involved in a violent relationship, greater sensitivity”, Mrs Arnold added.

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