Bedfordshire police commissioner sets out stall to put a stop to domestic abuse

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway. - Credit: Archant

Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has pledged to stamp out domestic abuse across the county with money from a £1.1 million fund.

Kathryn Holloway received grant bids totalling £731,000 from her commisioner’s fund – provided by the Ministry of Justice and Bedfordshire Police – as part of work alongside domestic abuse services to solve the issue of providing support.

She said: “The problem is that services have traditionally been focused on the towns of Luton and Bedford.

“I am seeking to offer a vastly superior service for victims of all crimes, including domestic abuse, across the county by offering them access to counselling and other practical help, both online and with a specialist at the end of the phone.

“We have to get this right and doing things the way they have always been done – when this has been unfair – simply had to stop.”

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She added: “My commissioner’s fund has to provide services across the board for all crime types and for every victim, whether or not they have reported the crime to police.”

Last month, the commissioner launched a website and hub called ignpost for victims of domestic abuse – regardless of whether the crime has been reported – where they can access support.

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Mrs Holloway said: “Signpost and all the services I fund with regard to domestic abuse can help whether you are male or female, young or older and whether or not you are the victim yourself or affected by this insidious crime, which usually takes place behind closed doors, such as a son or daughter.

“We want to make a difference so that abusive relationships end, and all those who were affected have a chance to move forward.”

Mrs Holloway’s director of victim services Bethan West has also issued a firm message that domestic abuse must stop.

“Anyone from any background can experience domestic abuse,” she said. “Being subject to a relationship that involves controlling or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse is something that nobody should experience or have to put up with.

“This type of crime affects not only an individual, but also their families.

“Stopping domestic abuse is everyone’s responsibility.

“We should all be aware of our family members, our friends and our colleagues who may just need us to hear and see their issue and not judge but be there if they feel brave enough to mention they need help.”

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