Dame Vera welcomes new report on abuse

Dame Vera Baird.
Dame Vera Baird.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, has welcomed the findings of an Ofsted report which states professionals have made progress in responding to the large volume of cases of domestic abuse.

However, Dame Vera, who is also a patron of Operation Encompass, which champions engagement with schools when a child is known to have experienced domestic abuse, has echoed calls for prevention to be given equal priority moving forward.

Joint inspections were carried out in six areas.

Dame Vera said: “This report demonstrates some positive steps that are being made in how domestic abuse call-outs are responded to and while Northumbria was not one of the areas inspected, I know considerable progress has been made in our area. We are leading the way in terms of information sharing and preventative work, and also in our work to support children and promote healthy relationships through a range of schemes and initiatives.

“As the report states, the police can’t do this work alone. Partnership work is very strong here; there is a shared commitment with statutory partners and volunteer-sector specialists across the region to ensuring victims of domestic abuse have access to the best support possible and through perpetrator programmes, early intervention work and multi-agency tasking and coordination (MATAC) processes, officers and partners are working hard to put a stop to appalling behaviours. Work must not stop at safeguarding victims and we recognise that.

“This is all positive stuff, which Northumbria plans to build on, and our work has been recognised by the Home Office, which has recently awarded funding to help us expand our whole system approach to tackling domestic abuse throughout neighbouring forces within the North-East region. We want to be the best police force for tackling domestic abuse and it will remain a top priority for our officers.”