The Home Office has this week announced a £39 million investment in 50 projects to tackle the problem of stalking and domestic abuse in England and Wales. 27 police forces are set to benefit from the funding, as the Government looks to step up its campaign to protect vulnerable people and victims who are being repeatedly targeted.
Our Family Law department at Ison Harrison can testify to figures on stalking and domestic abuse crimes which were released alongside this announcement. These figures state that 83% of male offenders repeat their crimes within six months. So this investment will be rolled out over the next two years and will help police forces across England and Wales to continue existing initiatives and start new ones to intervene to stop this cycle of behaviour and protect targeted victims. The funding comes on the back of tough measures announced in February to tackle domestic abusers and support their victims.
Preventing crime where people should feel their safest
Announcing this new £39 million investment, Home Office Safeguarding Minister, Sarah Dines, commented: “Domestic abuse and stalking are vile crimes which cause victims to feel terror in their own homes and communities, where they should feel their safest. It is unacceptable and this Government is determined to protect people from this horrific abuse.
“We know that intervention schemes like these are a crucial means of protecting victims, which is why we are investing millions in helping police identify abusive behaviour and stop it from escalating or happening again.”
Alongside the new funds, the Government also issued statutory guidance on Clare’s Law, which will speed-up the process for individuals attempting to access information on the history of violence and abuse attached to partners or ex-partners.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Domestic Abuse, Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, also commented: “The funding by the Home Office will help to bring more support to victims of the terrible crimes committed by domestic abusers. Policing continues to work with partners, stakeholders and other agencies to help support victims and bring offenders to justice, but we cannot do this alone. Funding is vital to enable this to happen and we welcome this round. We will always work together with the Home Office to ensure this funding continues to increase, so victims get the support they deserve.”
Continuing intervention projects and starting new ones
50 projects across 27 police forces will benefit from the funding, ranging from £600,000 in Warwickshire, to £2.9 million in Cheshire. In the West Midlands, Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill commented on the investment: “Tackling domestic abuse and stalking are important priorities for West Midlands Police and we recognise that early intervention can prevent further incidents of these devastating crimes. The work we are carrying out is designed to stop stalking behaviours as early as possible to prevent further suffering of the victim and avoid stalkers becoming entrenched in their behaviour and escalating to more serious stalking and worse.”
One of the West Midlands force’s key initiatives is the EASI programme (Early Awareness Stalking Interventions), which will now be able to continue, while elsewhere other regional police forces have made successful funding bids for schemes such as custody intervention programmes, behaviour change interventions and compulsive obsessive behaviour interventions, so as well as supporting victims, the aim is to get to the root cause of the issue to prevent repeat offending and stop the cycle of abuse.
Professional legal support for stalking and domestic abuse victims
At Ison Harrison we have direct insight into the problem of stalking and domestic abuse and provide our own forms of support to help victims recover from their ordeal, find stability and critical family assistance, and to bring their abusers to justice.
We welcome this investment as a dedicated programme to end the cycle of abuse we see all-too-often. And in the meantime, if you are aware of stalking or forms of domestic abuse occurring, or are the victim of this yourself, please do not hesitate to come forward and contact our family law department at Ison Harrison. We have skilled personnel and specialist legal experts who can offer you discreet and sympathetic support and advice, and start the process of helping you escape this situation, so get in touch today.