Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
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New joint plan to tackle Domestic Abuse in Hertfordshire
All of the key agencies involved in dealing with domestic abuse in Hertfordshire have come together to publish a joint strategy on how to tackle it.  Local authorities, the police, health services and other agencies have all signed up to the plan which aims to provide, for the first time, a common approach to preventing domestic abuse and providing proper support victims where it has occurred.  The strategy is published as a draft and is now open for consultation so the public can give their views on the proposal.

The plan was launched Friday ( January 22nd) at Hertfordshire Constabulary’s new specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) which  has just started work. The unit, which consists of a team of over sixty specialist officers and staff, is based at Hatfield police station and will deal with domestic abuse cases from across the county.
 
The draft strategy aims to bring together all the organisations involved in tackling domestic abuse in a joint programme to keep women, children and men safe from domestic abuse. It includes commitments to:
Prevent domestic abuse from happening in the first place by challenging the attitudes and behaviours which foster it, and intervening early where possible to prevent it
Reduce the risk to victims and ensure that perpetrators are held to account
Work in partnership to provide appropriate levels of support where abuse occurs
 
The plan is a direct result of the recommendations of a report into the state of domestic abuse services in Hertfordshire commissioned by  Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, Commissioner Lloyd said: “I have made the tackling domestic abuse a top priority in my Police and Crime Plan .The launch of this strategy is an important part of the process of delivering on that.  I am delighted that all of the key agencies in Hertfordshire are now working more closely together to deal with this horrible crime and I am confident it will result in fewer victims and better services for those who are affected."

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Some of the improvements we’ve made over the last year are already making a real difference. For example we’ve introduced a pilot programme to help men who abuse their partners change their ways and that’s clearly having appositive impact – so much so that we’re now rolling it out to other parts of the county and expanding it to help women perpetrators too.”
“We think this strategy will give us the solid basis we need to tackle domestic abuse together, but we’re keen to hear what the public think. I’d encourage anyone, whether they’ve been affected by domestic abuse or not, to let us know if what we’re planning is what they and their community need.”
Jenny Coles, Chair of Hertfordshire’s Domestic Abuse Executive Board, said: “We’ve really improved the way different organisations work together over the last year and this joint strategy will help us provide even better support to victims, male and female.”

“Speaking to victims and the people who work with them, I’m struck by how much difference getting the right support early on makes. That’s why our draft strategy is all about preventing domestic abuse in the first place and intervening as early as possible where there is a problem.”

Residents can read and respond to the draft strategy here until 22 April 2016.

This strategy is part of a wide-ranging improvement programme that is helping to tackle domestic abuse in Hertfordshire, which has included:

Launching a new police unit dedicated to domestic abuse
Setting up a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
An increase in the number of specialist domestic abuse workers (IDVAs
Incorporating domestic abuse specialists into Children’s Services Family Safeguarding Teams
Appointing a new manager to coordinate the way different agencies commission services
Improving the strategic management and governance of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire

Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn, said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime which shatters lives. “Hertfordshire Constabulary welcomes this consultation and we have already introduced some significant changes in relation to the way we tackle domestic abuse – including the introduction of our specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit. The unit will contain specialist officers and staff specifically to deal with Domestic Abuse and will ensure that we can deliver the best possible outcomes not only for the victims, but for their families and the investigation.
 
“We will listen very carefully along with our partners to what the public have to say to us and will act on that information.”
 
For help and advice on domestic abuse visit www.hertssunflower.org or call 08088 088 088.