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PCC to fund ground-breaking domestic violence project to cut reoffending

Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has revealed plans to invest £33,000 in an innovative project designed to break the cycle of domestic abuse.

Addressing a packed house at De Montford University’s Conference on Coercion and Control earlier today the Commissioner revealed that he has agreed to provide funding to enable the CARA project to be trialled in Leicestershire. 

Evaluated by Cambridge University and achieving two national awards for innovation in policing, CARA prevents re-offending by providing offenders with a unique opportunity to reflect on circumstances leading to their arrest.  CARA offers an improved criminal justice response to domestic abuse victims by enhanced risk management and holding perpetrators to account for their actions.

CARA aims to intervene at the earliest opportunity.  The project delivers workshops to offenders who have committed low-level severity domestic abuse incidents, giving them an insight into the impact of their behaviour and helping them to develop positive strategies to change it. 

Research shows the approach is already having a positive impact with a 50% reduction in reoffending for those who have engaged in CARA workshops 12 months’ post intervention.

The Commissioner has allocated the funds to facilitate the launch of a CARA programme in Leicestershire in a bid to tackle reoffending more effectively.

“I’m delighted to announce my intention to fund this award-winning scheme here in Leicestershire,” he said.

“Domestic abuse is an issue that transcends class, race, religion and age. It’s clear to me that new approaches are vital to breaking a ‘revolving door’ situation in which perpetrators of abuse continue to reoffend, particularly if there has been insufficient evidence to pursue a conviction.

“Such a situation misses a window of opportunity for individuals to rethink on their behaviour and the reasons for their arrest and leaves the victim at risk of further harm.

“This exciting project breaks the mould of traditional domestic violence approaches and I look forward to working with our partners to implement it in Leicestershire.”

Chantal Hughes, Chief Executive of The Hampton Trust, said: “The Hampton Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with Leicestershire Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner and local partners to bring CARA to Leicestershire. 

“In partnership with Cambridge University and Hampshire Constabulary CARA has made a significant impact in reducing reoffending across Hampshire and we are confident we can replicate the success across Leicestershire.”

The County Council will be supporting the project in Leicestershire. Councillor Joe Orson, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for safer communities, said: “This is a pioneering project aiming to prevent domestic abuse and we welcome the funding. Research shows that rehabilitating perpetrators in this way reduces re-offending and also speeds up the recovery journey for families.

“We currently fund a number of these behaviour change schemes and this extra resource will improve the services available for adults and support children by reducing domestic abuse.”

Ends

Background information

I.           CARA has been designed and delivered by The Hampton Trust.  Alongside police and other partners, the project seeks to consider alternative sanctions for domestic abuse perpetrators.

Participants must meet certain criteria before being considered eligible for the programme. This includes having no previous convictions or cautions for violence in the previous two years, the victim has given their consent to the use of a conditional caution and attendance at the workshop and the offence falls within a specified group of minor DV offence such as criminal damage, harassment and threatening behaviour. The relationship between the perpetrator and victim must be present or past intimate partners only.

The scheme was piloted in Hampshire and last month won the Innovation in Perpetrator Intervention award at the College of Policing Domestic Abuse Champions Awards.

More information on CARA can be found here

2.          More information on the ‘Coercion and Control: In the Commission of Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence and Abuse Conference’, sponsored by the Commissioner, can be found here

Media Enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012

 

 

Posted on Friday 11th November 2016
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