Report says domestic abuse services must be improved

Editorial image
Editorial image

A report into how organisations deal with domestic abuse in Hertfordshire has highlighted how the services need to be improved.

The report from charity CAADA (co-ordinated action against domestic abuse) highlights the need for improvements in the ‘governance and leadership arrangements for domestic abuse in Hertfordshire, the consistency through which victims are referred to services, and the gaps around the provision of services and support for victims and perpetrators.’

The review follows a 47% increase in the number of victims coming forward over the last two years and also comes as responsibility for the services prepares to move to the Police and Crime Commissioner in April.

Commissioner David 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.

“Our campaigns to get more victims of domestic abuse to come forward are working and it is vital that we provide them with the best services possible when they do.

“We can only tackle this issue by working together and I am pleased that all the key agencies in Hertfordshire are committed to ensuring that happens.”

Councillor Richard Thake, executive member for community safety at Hertfordshire County Council said: “We commissioned an independent organisation to take a thorough look at the support we provide to victims of domestic abuse and report back to us on how they felt we could further improve that support.

“I considered it vital that there were no constraints placed on CAADA, as advocates in excellence, in conducting the review.

“The report highlights some really good work going on across the county.

“Parts of the report also make some fairly clear areas for improvement, and it’s important that we understand where we need to improve as well as what we’re doing well.”

CAADA chief executive Diana Barran said: “Our review highlights opportunities to improve the way that services are commissioned and delivered in Hertfordshire so that they meet the needs of many more families living with domestic abuse.

“If implemented our recommendations would create the platform to help identify all victims, children, and perpetrators of domestic abuse, as early as possible and give enough capacity to respond by risk and need as well as foster innovation, learning and development across all agencies.

“We are indebted to the local practitioners, survivors and managers who were so generous with their time and information which allowed us to develop our recommendations.

“With strong leadership, the Hertfordshire Partnership has the opportunity now to make a material difference to the lives of so many residents of the county.”