WEST Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion and Worcestershire County Council have been awarded just over £250,000 from the Police Transformation Fund to work with the most high-risk domestic abuse perpetrators and challenge them to change.
The Drive Project is a new multi-agency response to domestic abuse that encourages people to stop asking, ‘Why doesn’t she/he leave?’ and start asking, ‘Why doesn’t he/she stop?’. It aims to reduce the number of victims by disrupting offending behaviour and challenging and supporting perpetrators to change, whilst holding them to account.
One in four perpetrators are repeat offenders, with some having as many as six different victims. This supports the need to focus on the perpetrator, as well as the victim, as without specialist intervention there is a danger they could move onto someone else.
Following the successes of the phase one pilot in 2016, the Drive Partnership created a proposal for implementing phase two in five areas across the country, including West Mercia.
Worcestershire was identified as the area to deliver the project in first, due to it having the highest number of referrals into the police-led Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC).
The Drive project has also been mentioned in the government’s recent Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation as an ‘innovative approach which we are proud to support’.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “Putting victims and survivors first is a promise I made when I first came into office.
“Whilst there is some incredible support out there for victims, there is a glaring hole around working with perpetrators.
“If we’re ever going to reduce the number and severity of incidences of domestic abuse, we need target the source and get to the root of the problem.
“Having learned of how successful the pilot has been in other areas, I am very much looking forward to working together with the Public Health Directorate in Worcestershire County Council to tackle these issues and make it a success in this area too.”
He added he hoped to extend the project to the rest of West Mercia and praised the Home Office for supporting the project.
Coun John Smith, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Wellbeing, said the authority was delighted to be working with the PCC and that the county had been chosen.
Service providers, which can provide at least four case managers and a service manager, are being asked to bid for a tender which closes at midday on April 27.
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