Restorative Solutions partners with The Hampton Trust to mobilise CARA in West Yorkshire
The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment to tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence was supported by his published Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy in 2017.
The strategy underpins the need for partnership working, providing the framework for a West Yorkshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership to jointly plan and deliver support services.
A two-year pilot programme was commissioned and the learning from this now leads the PCC to re-commission a West Yorkshire wide service with a focus on first time/standard perpetrators of domestic abuse who receive a conditional caution.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “Both domestic abuse and sexual violence crimes are complex, and sensitive areas with a high level of under-reporting to the police. Through my Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy, I committed that I would work together with partners to deliver services which support a coordinated response and I am pleased that this programme after a lot of hard work has now been commissioned for the next two years.
“The aim of the programme is to reduce the number of domestic abuse incidents and to support victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence across West Yorkshire. There are five key priority areas to the service, which are partnership working, preventing violence and abuse, provision of services, support for victims and survivors and pursuing perpetrators. I am looking forward to seeing some tangible outcomes and differences to the levels of domestic violence and abuse which are never acceptable as a result of this programme in the next 2 years”
Chief Inspector Martin Moizer, Criminal Justice, said: “Our priority will always be supporting the victim and doing all we can to keep them safe. We know that domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, evidence shows perpetrators of DA often continue to re-offend and there can be an escalation of harm over time.
“The new CARA process is designed to be used as a mandatory condition with an out of court disposal in lower level offences and will provide offenders with access to education and support so they can address their abusive attitudes at the very earliest opportunity. Some of these will be cases that are coming to the notice of the police for the very first time. If we can break the cycle of domestic abuse at that stage by educating about the effect and consequences of their actions on their partners and children, we hope to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and decrease the risk to victims whose safety is of paramount importance to us all.”
The PCC hosted a successful Market Engagement event in January 2020, with 30 professionals from 23 different organisations to inform and shape the service requirements.
Following an Invitation to Tender Open Process in April 2020, the PCC is pleased to announce a two-year contract has been awarded to Restorative Solutions CIC.
Restorative Solutions is delighted to be working with the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police, in partnership with the Hampton Trust, to set up and mobilise Project CARA across the force area. We firmly believe that CARA offers an improved criminal justice response to victims of domestic abuse by enhanced risk management and holding standard risk offenders to account for their actions. Restorative Solutions will work with The Hampton Trust to build on the success both of similar CARA sites elsewhere in the country and the Restorative Justice Service for victims of crime in West Yorkshire, which Restorative Solutions have been delivering since 2018.
Restorative Solutions’ Director of Practice Delivery, Tony Walker, said: “Over the last 3 years, the use of Restorative Justice in cases of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) has evolved through careful, considered, safe practice. Restorative Solutions and the Hampton Trust have worked together developing safe practice approaches and in depth training of practitioners to use the approaches. Restorative Solutions have also worked with a range of DVA service providers across West Yorkshire to design and develop local protocols to support these approaches. The new CARA programme in West Yorkshire will build on those existing strong partnerships.”
Chief Executive of The Hampton Trust, Chantal Hughes, said: “CARA is designed to be an ‘up-stream’ intervention, getting to the root of the problem and resolving it before it can escalate. It is designed to intervene far earlier than has ever been done in criminal justice before, with the aim to make our communities safer and ease pressures on front line services.”
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