Police partner with domestic violence charity to tackle causes of abuse

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 April 2019

A new scheme has been launched in North Somerset to tackle domestic abus

A new scheme has been launched in North Somerset to tackle domestic abus

KatarzynaBialasiewicz

A new multi-agency scheme has been launched in North Somerset to tackle domestic abuse.

Avon and Somerset Police have joined forces with domestic violence charity, The Hampton Trust, to pilot a programme which works with offenders to raise awareness of their abusive behaviour and reduce rates of re-offending.

Between 2017 and 2018 Avon and Somerset police were called to 17,651 cases of domestic abuse in the district.

The Cautions and Relationship Abuse model, also known as Project CARA, will be offered to offenders as a conditional caution, when an offence can be dealt with out of court.

CARA, which was trialled in Hampshire and has now been extended to the South West, sees offenders take part in workshops which provides opportunities for them to hold themselves accountable for their actions and reflect on their behaviour.

Offenders suitable for the programme are referred to the constabulary’s new ASCEND service, created to assess offenders needs and support them through the programme.

An ASCEND worker then meets the offender to create a plan for them to follow and comply with.

Chantal Hughes said: “Often, it is perpetrators displaying the so-called toxic-trio of substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence who are least likely to be suitable for a traditional group work programme yet pose the highest risk.”

The results have been positive with those attending the sessions often not re-offending.

Ms Hughes said: “Early results are demonstrating 100 per cent attendance on workshops, and we are confident that Project CARA will contribute to the work police are already doing to tackle domestic abuse.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Protecting the most vulnerable from harm, which includes domestic abuse, is a top priority in my Police and Crime plan.

“There are no excuses for domestic abuse and no-one has the right to control or abuse another person either physically or mentally.

“By joining forces with The Hampton Trust, we can work with offenders to help change their behaviour and attitude towards their partners.”

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