‘Whole system’ focus improving West Yorkshire’s approach to domestic abuse (7 Dec 2018)

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is continuing to raise awareness of domestic abuse, as the White Ribbon campaign enters its final stretch in 16 days of action.

Yesterday (06/12) PCC Mark Burns-Williamson brought together professionals from the NHS, Crown Prosecution Service, the Voluntary Sector, Education and Local Authorities to independently consider domestic abuse cases in the county.

The West Yorkshire Independent Domestic Scrutiny Panel is one part of an innovative 'Whole Systems Approach' to tackling domestic abuse.

This project which involves 6 police forces from across the North East of England, follows a successful bid to the Home Office's Police Transformation Fund.

It aims to test new ways to respond to domestic abuse, support victims, change behaviours of perpetrators and to improve knowledge and skills.

The panel, which meets 4 times a year, looks at previous cases, ensuring all the right practices and support mechanisms are in place to offer the best possible outcome for future victims.

They also assess situations where a victim and their family need a service from another agency.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson who helped establish the panel earlier this summer said:

"Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority in my refreshed Police and Crime Plan and with West Yorkshire being part of this innovative regional collaboration it is essential to ensure that we provide the best possible service for people across our communities.

"We all must continually strive to improve how we do things and one way to achieve this is by working closely with partners and learning from all our experiences.

"The West Yorkshire Independent Domestic Scrutiny Panel is a good example of how we have brought together a wide range of experts in their own fields to consider domestic abuse cases that West Yorkshire Police have dealt with under the independent oversight of my office.

"I am grateful to those individuals and organisations who recognise the value in this process and give their time and expertise to make this project a success and very worthwhile.

"There is also a clear appetite within West Yorkshire Police to embrace this work and to share any learning to improve their approach and working practices.

"This is not just about identifying where things didn't go well, but also where things did go well and sharing that good practice.

"Already we are developing a library of feedback and best practice, which is being shared with frontline practitioners and through police training.

"We will build upon the work we are doing in West Yorkshire with all our neighbouring forces and our partners, as we need a truly joined up and systematic approach to dealing with such incidents within a domestic setting.

"I look forward to working together to ensure that we are all doing what we can to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, ensuring we continually improve our collective response as we go along."

Karen Rodger is a Senior Nurse for NHS England Yorkshire and the Humber and added:

"NHS England is keen to support and work with key partners on the 'Whole Systems Approach' to tackling domestic abuse.

"This important work aims to improve the whole system response and outcomes for victims and families by promoting better understanding and shared learning."

Paul Hill is the West Yorkshire Police Manager for the "Whole Systems Approach" project. He said:

"West Yorkshire Police is keen to improve its services and in particular to ensure that more perpetrators of domestic abuse are caught and brought to justice.

"It is also very important that victims and their families get the support that they need as soon as possible, so that they can get their lives back on track. This project is testing out a number of innovative ways to help us achieve these important goals. The scrutiny panel provides an independent check on whether real improvements are resulting from the work being done. This is welcome and necessary".

DVP Group

Pictured - The West Yorkshire Independent Domestic Scrutiny Panel

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