Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry today welcomed the Government’s decision to include domestic violence and sexual offences as part of new legislation forcing public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence.
The proposed Serious Violence Prevention Duty requires a range of public bodies including the Police, health authorities, schools and other criminal justice agencies to work together to prevent and tackle serious violence with the aim of protecting victims and changing the behaviour of perpetrators.
Previously the Duty, which forms part of the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently working its way through Parliament, did not include domestic abuse, sexual violence and domestic homicide in the definition of ‘serious violence’.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel today confirmed the decision to include it via an amendment to the Bill following widespread support from campaigners including the Conservative Peer Baroness Gabby Bertin and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs.
Commissioner Henry and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) offered their full support for the change.
Commissioner Henry previously briefed the House of Lords alongside the Domestic Abuse Commissioner on the need for domestic abuse and sexual violence to be considered as part of the new duty.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Commissioner Henry said: “We really welcome this announcement and will be working closely with our partners in Nottinghamshire to ensure we add value to the very robust approaches to domestic abuse that already exist across the City and County.
“This amendment ensures every area of England and Wales knows and understands its full responsibilities in tackling domestic abuse and that prevention work is not optional.
“Serious violence cannot be tackled in isolation. We must work not as single agencies or individuals but as whole systems to prioritise preventing and tackling domestic abuse as both a form of serious violence and a cause of trauma for the children and young people who witness it.”
Natalie Baker-Swift, Interim Head of the VRU, added: “This amendment is a positive step forward and sends out the right message to victims and survivors that their safety is a top priority.
“Domestic abuse represents a large proportion of violent crime, with many victims experiencing domestic abuse more than once in their lifetime.
“We are proud of the holistic approach we undertake alongside our partners and survivors to tackle the root causes of domestic abuse and understand and respond to the wider risks facing children who have witnessed abuse and work directly with perpetrators to redress harmful behaviour. This work will continue to further mitigate the risk of domestic abuse to survivors and their families.
“We will work with partners locally to understand the opportunities provided by this directive in order to add value to already robust arrangements.”
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