Published at 09:05, Monday, 30 July 2012
DOMESTIC abuse is still a hidden crime that occurs behind front doors everywhere, from rural market towns to big cities.
Though Northumbria Police have worked hard to pursue perpetrators and support victims, we have to redouble that work.
The latest figures show that out of 28,000 incidences reported in our policing area, just 10 per cent of perpetrators are prosecuted so that many are able to abuse again.
As a society we need to understand this issue and use creative means to tackle it.
I have set out five clear actions I will take, if elected in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November.
In my first year, I will develop a strategic plan to tackle violence against women and girls more broadly, and ensure that it’s incorporated into the Policing and Crime Plan. I’ll work with schools and other community based organisations to change culture, attitudes and behaviour.
On domestic abuse specifically, I will maintain specialist domestic violence units despite the cuts being forced on the police by the Tory-led Government and I’ll ensure that all categories of officers are fully trained to deal with victims of abuse.
A few other police forces in the UK have tried to prevent repeat domestic abuse by devising schemes to monitor and manage frequently reported serial perpetrators.
I want to pilot such a scheme here, perhaps in a city and a rural area at the same time, and to use Northumbria Police’s undoubted expertise and commitment on this issue to adapt and improve what has gone before so that we can protect victims even where, for a raft of frequently occurring reasons, we cannot prosecute known perpetrators.
We can’t turn a blind eye to the scale of this problem and, as Commissioner, I would ensure an absolute commitment to increasing convictions and driving down incidences of violence against women and children.
VERA BAIRD QC,
Labour’s candidate for Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk