Members to receive a report providing details of existing and planned interventions around violence in the public domain linked to domestic abuse.
The Police and Crime Panel received a report providing details of existing and planned interventions around violence in the public domain linked to domestic abuse.
Paul Hindson Chief Executive introduced the report which included background and a definition of Domestic Abuse, the number of crimes and incidents reported to the police in rolling year to 4th October 2020, and Domestic Abuse interventions and the bystander approach across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The PCC mentioned domestic abuse increases during the period in question and although there was difficulty getting firm data around that anecdotal evidence suggested domestic abuse has been a growing problem during the pandemic and during the short term that was being taken into account but further analysis was necessary and the PCC was willing to bring further reports to the Panel or in other formats.
Panel Members expressed interest in the second longer term intervention (para 13 in the report) delivered by Free VA to perpetrators who voluntarily engaged to change their behaviour, noting that only the City Council investment was long term and requested an update report on how that intervention was working and how successful it was.
Panel Members asked whether there were any links or proof that youth violence transpires into domestic abuse. Officers responded that they used various databases including the public health database and there was some suggestion of a link so the earlier an intervention the better. It was noted that although domestic abuse was predominantly gender based and in relationships there was also sibling issues and parental abuse.
Panel Members suggested that one of the effects of the pandemic was a rise in home consumption of drugs and alcohol and simultaneously an increase in domestic abuse and queried whether there had been some analysis on the cause and effect of the increase in domestic abuse to better understand that and be prepared to intervene especially in the new hybrid environment of people living and working from home more. Officers commented that there had been previous discussion on this and the Covid-19 Pandemic, 1 year on report to the last meeting showed the increase although that was one point in time to another. The trend was being tracked and that was still flat overall, so it was not a clear picture though officers were happy to do the analysis and provide a report on that.
Panel Members raised concerns about the hidden homeless problem and those with English as a second language and the barriers to them reporting issues and queried whether there was scope in the data collected to understand the hidden problem as well.
Panel Members sought clarification on the Safer Streets 3 Fund and the bidding opportunity and if successful whether that would be shared proportionally across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The PCC responded that the bid was yet to go in however it would be focused on addressing specific concerns and issues around women and girl’s safety in a number of open spaces and seeking a tailored solution for those places so this funding would not be split proportionately. A system to track where different funds of monies were being spent over time was being introduced so there would be a more even spread, although it was not as straight forward as just proportionately splitting the funds across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as account had to be taken of other factors such as population, where crime was higher/lower and/or prevalence of crime in particular areas.
In terms of this bid, work was ongoing to identify specific spaces using an initial sift of data on reported crimes. An equality impact assessment was also needed before a survey could be carried out to seek views of local people and there was pressure to achieve that within a short time scale before the closing date for bids.
Panel Members referred to the secondary schools programme Mentors in Violence Prevention and enquired whether that would be expanded to primary schools. In response it was commented that there were enormous sensitivities involved with young children and parents having strong views about what was discussed with their children. Officers agreed to investigate bystander approaches at primary school level and provide that information to a future meeting.
The Chair requested details to be provided of Police visibility in local schools, what talks Police hold with school aged children and whether there was joining up of initiatives and interventions.
That a further report around Domestic Abuse be brought to a future meeting of the Police and Crime Panel providing details of:
· analysis on the cause and effect of the increase in domestic abuse to enable better understanding and how with better understanding that is being used to help identify and prepare future interventions,
· where the data is available in a quantifiable way for indicators to be provided too,
· analysis of data and any rise in safeguarding issues during the pandemic and links to domestic abuse,
· the second longer term intervention (para 13 in the report) delivered by Free VA to perpetrators who voluntarily engaged to change their behaviour, how that intervention was working and how successful it was,
· about the hidden homeless problem and those with English as a second language and the barriers to them reporting issues and whether there was scope in data collected to understand the hidden problem,
· bystander approaches/interventions at primary school level,
· Police visibility in local schools, what talks Police hold with school aged children and whether there was joining up of initiatives and interventions.