"Domestic abuse report is good but can improve"

Craven Herald: Julia Mulligan Julia Mulligan

A report into how North Yorkshire Police deals with domestic abuse has been welcomed by the force.

The report, following an investigation by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in November last year, highlights areas of good practice as well as suggestions of how the service for victims could be improved.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has also called on the police to improve its service to victims, while recognising the good work already carried out in the county.

North Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said protecting victims and their families and diverting perpetrators away from domestic abuse was an absolute priority.

“It is good to see that the dedicated work and the improvements we have made in our response to these distressing crimes has been recognised,” he said.

He also acknowledged there were areas for improvement.

“Prior to the inspection, we had identified a number of areas where the service could be improved and have already taken steps to implement these changes,” he said.

The report recognises the investment put into the Protecting Vulnerable Persons Units (PVPUs) and training of staff, despite severe financial cutbacks across the police service nationally.

“With the backing of the police and crime commissioner, Julia Mulligan, and the efforts of Detective Chief Superintendent, Simon Mason, we have invested heavily in the PVPUs and last year saw the opening of a multi-agency safeguarding hub and central referral unit to improve the management and oversight of domestic abuse. These departments bring together all the responsible agencies under one roof to provide a co-ordinated and appropriate response to safeguarding victims.”

The force has also recruited and trained a number of specialist staff over the past year.

Police and crime commissioner, Julia Mulligan said victim-focussed policing was absolutely fundamental.

“Domestic abuse is one of the most impactive of crimes, and on behalf of the public I need to make sure the police are dealing with these incidents effectively,” she said.

“There is a huge amount of good practice in North Yorkshire, but there is also a clear need to refocus efforts on the victims of these terrible crimes.

“In light of the HMIC report’s findings, it is now important the Chief Constable prepares an action plan to improve performance.”

She added: “Prevention is key, and it is clear the police service needs to do more to ensure serial perpetrators of domestic abuse are appropriately dealt with.”

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