CALLS for central government to bring forward a national strategy to target the perpetrators of domestic abuse have been made by the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police.
PCC John Campion made the appeal ahead of the third reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill next week.
While welcoming the government’s lead in tackling domestic abuse and the local support from West Mercia MPs he believes there is an opportunity for the government to take a stronger and more planned approach to targeting those causing harm.
Domestic abuse affects one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime, with an average of two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year.
He says with these statistics not improving, a new approach is urgently needed.
In West Mercia, the PCC has championed great investment to support victims of domestic abuse, as well as funding new programmes which works to tackle perpetrator behaviour.
The PCC has also supported the ‘Call to Action for a Perpetrator Strategy’ which was launched in Parliament at the beginning of the year. This strategy was supported by over 80 organisations across England and Wales including police forces, PCCs, charities and academics.
Now Mr Campion is calling on the government to introduce the perpetrator strategy instead of a proposal to wait until after the pilot of the Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs).
He says by doing this the opportunity to combine the strategy with the Comprehensive Spending Review, which is expected in 2021, isn’t missed.
“Domestic abuse is still the major crime and cause of harm in our community,” said Mr Campion.
“It is happening behind closed doors, with victims not being safe in their own homes.
“The government can make this important change now before it’s too late and we find the already shocking statistics have increased.
“Whilst there is already some great work taking place to tackle perpetrator behaviour, including the recent significant investment from the Government, there is more we can be doing to truly shine the light on this area of domestic abuse.
“By tackling the problem at the root, we can reduce the number of victims by challenging and changing the behaviour of those inflicting the pain.”