Matthew Barber has today welcomed over £2.8m of Home Office funding to support the delivery of two projects which aim to reduce domestic abuse and stalking.
The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, in collaboration with Thames Valley Police and South Central Probation, has secured £2,809,737 of funding from the Home Office ‘Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Interventions Fund’ for the delivery of two Thames Valley wide projects, to reduce child and adult domestic abuse, tackle stalking and reduce reoffending over the next two years.
The Drive Project aims to reduce the number of child and adult victims by disrupting and changing perpetrator behaviour. It has been independently evaluated as being successful by its focus on priority high-risk or serial perpetrators, both male and female aged 16 and over, who currently have a low level of engagement with existing services. Referrals will be sought through operational policing methods and project partners, such as local authority social care services. In addressing perpetrators’ behaviour, Drive targets underlying causes of domestic abuse. This will improve outcomes for victims and children across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire.
The Compulsive and Obsessive Behaviour Intervention (COBI) Project will provide intensive intervention with perpetrators of stalking, for the purpose of reducing stalking and reoffending across Thames Valley. A series of 1:1 facilitated sessions will address stalking behaviours, including any emotional responses/triggers. It will target the causes of stalking behaviour, addressing issues such as obsessive thoughts. Referrals can arise as a requirement of a Stalking Protection Order, police conditional caution, license conditions or Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) from Probation. The COBI bid was developed by Probation who worked with multiple partners to build a picture of what was needed across the police force area to reduce stalking. They will also be contributing resource and expertise to maximise the impact of the programme.
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “This funding announcement will support the delivery of two important projects which will tackle prolific perpetrators of medium and high harm abuse, as well as reducing reoffending and increasing the safety of victims and those at risk across Thames Valley.
“Stalking and domestic abuse can have devastating impact on victims. It is vital that in addition to supporting those victims, we look at interventions to tackle the abusive behaviours of perpetrators in order to prevent further harm.
“Both the Drive and COBI projects will add to the existing work in place to help reduce the number of domestic abuse and stalking cases across Thames Valley.
“I look forward to monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of both projects, and the impact they will have in breaking the cycle of abuse for victims.”
The funding will support the delivery of the Drive and COBI projects over the next two years, with Thames Valley Police and a number of key partners involved. The COBI project is expected to start receiving referrals within a few weeks, with Drive set to commence later this year.