Yorkshire council acts on ‘inefficient’ domestic violence services

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A YORKSHIRE council is seeking Government money to help it tackle domestic violence after a report revealed “inefficiencies” in the current system.

The bid for cash has been made from a partnership of Calderdale Council, police, housing body Pennine Housing and local health services.

An investigation by the council found weaknesses in the way victims are identified and given help.

Work is taking place to ensure risk assessments are standardised across agencies and that health bodies, particularly GPs, refer abuse victims for help.

Improved information sharing is also being looked at alongside the need for “early intervention”.

A report to the communities scrutiny panel, which meets tomorrow, says that police recorded 3,753 domestic violence incidents in 2013-14, but the true number is more likely to be over 9,000 based on an assumption that only a third of cases are reported.

The report says: “Inefficiencies in the system have been identified which are significantly hampering our ability to tackle this issue and improve outcomes for local communities.”

Councillor Steve Sweeney, chairman of the scrutiny panel, said agencies were doing all they could to tackle domestic abuse.

“The Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment has highlighted a number of key areas where we can improve our domestic abuse services. These areas include identifying potential issues and supporting people as quickly as possible, working more closely with partners such as the police, and developing a perpetrator programme to help reduce re-offending.”

“In order for us to successfully deliver these objectives, the Council has worked with the Police, the Clinical Commissioning Group and Pennine Housing to submit a bid to the Government’s Transformation Challenge Award. The outcome of this bid should be known in late November or early December.

“The communities scrutiny panel will look at the needs assessment in detail and, if necessary, make further recommendations if we feel they will help reduce the level of domestic abuse in Calderdale.”