Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd increases care support for victims of domestic violence
A pilot scheme to support more victims of domestic abuse in Hertfordshire has been expanded and extended.
The Beacon Safeguarding Hub will run for a second year after it was established by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.
Since its formation, the unit has contacted an average of 340 medium-risk domestic abuse victims every month – this goes beyond current Government legislation, which says this level of service only has to be offered to high-risk victims.
Based at the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) at Hatfield police station, the team contacts victims to offer and assess additional services they might need. This can include emotional and practical help, while those most in need are offered a complete support plan.
The uptake has surpassed expectation, with 49% of those contacted accepting more assistance. The typical rate is 25%.
And the number of Hertfordshire domestic violence victims and witnesses disengaging from magistrates' court cases has dropped from 17% in 2019 to 3% in 2020.
Mr Lloyd said: "Preventing crime and helping victims will always be at the centre of everything we do, and the Beacon Safeguarding Hub is an excellent example of what can be achieved.
"They have already supported thousands of victims, providing them with access to help and preventing repeat victimisation.
"The evidence has shown that it has improved the conviction rates for offenders by supporting victims throughout the criminal justice process.
"The safeguarding hub has been reaching 80% of medium-risk victims, but with... increased investment we are aiming to support everyone in this category.
"In Beacon, Hertfordshire already has one of the best victim care centres in the country, and this new safeguarding hub further builds on their outstanding work."