Cash award to help drive to reduce domestic violence in West Yorkshire

WEST Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson has received £600,000 of Government funds to help reduce violence against women and girls.

His office has been handed a share of a total of £17 million from the Violence against Women and Girls Service Transformation Fund.

The 41 projects across England and Wales will carry out a number of activities including providing support to victims, working with perpetrators of abuse to change their behaviour and helping to support children affected by what they have witnessed.

Mr Burns Williamson welcomed the Government funding and said he will be working alongside West Yorkshire Police to help prevent domestic violence against women and girls.

He said: “Although it is not as much as we made a bid for, it is a significant amount and we will be working with West Yorkshire Police and a range of other partners to ensure this money is used in helping better understand and prevent domestic abuse and violence among female offenders and victims in particular.

“The launch of The West Yorkshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy, which I announced earlier this year, is about ensuring we have a truly joined up and systematic approach to dealing with these crimes.

“It focuses on five key areas – partnership working, preventing violence and abuse, provision of services, support for victims/survivors and pursuing perpetrators.”

The grant was submitted through the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Board. This is a partnership which aims to implement the PCC’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy and deliver the Police and Crime Plan 2016-2021.

Mr Burns Williamson added: “Research has shown that being a victim of domestic violence and/or sexual violence can be a significant factor for some women in custody so I am sure any help given, such as this funding, will contribute to reducing reoffending.

“We need to ensure a consistent level of service across the districts in West Yorkshire and ensure we are doing all we can to ensure victims of violence are supported.”

Councillor Maureen Cummings, chairman of the West Yorkshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Board, welcomed the Government cash injection.

She said: “This funding is great news for domestic abuse services in Wakefield and across West Yorkshire.

“We, along with our partners, are committed to helping victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and we will continue to work together to tackle these horrific crimes.”

The announcement of the share of funds was made by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at this year’s Women’s Aid conference.

She said: “Violence Against Women and Girls devastates the lives of victims and families and this Government will continue to do all it can to protect people from these horrendous crimes.”