Report shows domestic violence services in Hertfordshire are ‘significantly underfunded’

County cllr Richard Thake, police & crime commissioner David Lloyd, assistant director for community

County cllr Richard Thake, police & crime commissioner David Lloyd, assistant director for community protection Julie Chaudary - Credit: Archant

Domestic violence is being ‘significantly underfunded’ in Herts, according to a new £50,000 report – and police and council chiefs have renewed their pledge to stamp out the abuse.

Police & crime commissioner David Lloyd

Police & crime commissioner David Lloyd - Credit: Archant

At a meeting on Friday, police and crime commissioner David Lloyd and Councillor Richard Thake, Herts County Council’s cabinet member for safety, unveiled new improvements which will be made to protect victims.

A report by independent charity CAADA, funded by Mr Lloyd, pointed out the positives and negatives in how groups across the county currently deals with domestic violence.

It recommended a champions network be set up, that a joint commissioning service be introduced and that there should be more advice and signposting services to help victims, at a total cost of about £2.2 million.

Mr Lloyd said: “I have made it clear that tackling domestic abuse is one of my top priorities and I warmly welcome the recommendations made in the review.

County cllr Richard Thake

County cllr Richard Thake - Credit: Archant

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“Domestic violence is an insidious crime and it effects all parts of society and it can only be tackled if we all work together.

“These recommendations are an essential first step to finding out what needs to be done.”

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He pointed out that the police and county council already had a history of working together and would continue to build on that relationship.

Mr Thake also welcomed the report, but said: “It did not necessarily make comfortable reading.”

Addressing the question of underfunding, he said there had been a 47 per cent increase in victims coming forward over the past two years and that was bound to push down the average spent per person.

The report found on average £120 was spent per victim, compared to the “usual range of £146 - £236” across the rest of the country.

Currently £1.64m is spent on helping victims of domestic abuse every year, and Mr Thake said that would go towards the £2.2m needed.

The rest would be subject to a funding bid via the Department of Education.

But Mr Lloyd said he did not necessarily think that more funding was the best way to tackle the problem.

He said: “I do not think that a success is measured in how much money you spend on something, it is how well you perform.”

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